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_ A Portrait of CiL\iJCER 

Tiil/lishal />A''/4 yAa tiilicliard Tliiaij>s.:Vf/i.SfI'(7ti7sC^//n-7i Tard.Zondon. 








With sketches of the 





Come like shadows ; so depart ! 













i ■ '-- , 





Chaucer in exUe. — HIs pecuniary em- 
barrassments. — Returns to England. — 
Imprisoned in the Tozver* — Usurpation of 
Thomas of Woodstock, — Chaucer is de- 
prived of his employments, — Sells his pen- 
sions, — Impeaches his former associates. — 
Testament of Love - - - 1 


Chaucer appointed clerk of the woiiis. — 
John of Gaunt returns to England after 
an absence of three yearns. — Created duke 
of Aquitaine,' — Chaucer resigns his office, 
and retires to TVoodstoch — Conclusioiis of 
the Astrolabie.-^-Breach hetiveen Chaucer 
and Gower. — Canterbury Tales, — Pew- 
s ion of tzve7ity pounds j^QX SLianum - 58 



Marriage of John of Gaunt with Catherine 
Swhiford.— Chaucer removes to Donning- 
to?i. — Reengaged in public affairs* — Ob- 
tains a patent of pi^otection, — Receives a 
grant of wine -^ * - 93 


Assassination of Thomas of JVoodstoch — 
Banishment of Henry of BoUngbi'-oke.' — ^ 
Death of John of Gaunt. — Deposition of 
Richard //. — Behaviour of Chaucer on 
that event. — Favoured by the nexv sove* 
reign.' — Removes to London - - 116 

Death of Chaucer - - - - 154 

Charact^er of Chaucer - - * 1 65 



C H A U C E R. 



After the affair of John of Northampton, chap.l. 
Chaucer spent several years in adversity and iss.s. 
distress. As his exile was a voluntary pre- the^Ne-"" 
caution on his part, it would seem reasonable 
to have supposed that it commenced about 
the time of the arrest of this popular leader. 
This however appears not to have been the 
case. In the Clause Rolls of Pvichard II, 
there is a grant to Chaucer, dated in the 



CHAP. L. month of November 1384, of leave of ab- 
1385. sence from the duties of his office for one- 
month, on urgent business relative to his 
private affairs ^ : he was therefore certainly at 
this time in England. It is difficult to con- 
ceive what reason he could have found for 
flight, above nine months after the arrest of 
John of Northampton, and three months 
subsequently to the trial of that ringleader 
and the sentence pronounced against him. 

Chaucer is said to have passed first to Hain- 
ault, of which his father-in-law was a native"" ; 
and afterward repaired to the province of 
Zealand, where he seems to have fixed his 
Assists his principal residence on this occasion ^ Here 
cnil '" he met with several of the persons who had 
been involved with him in the late disturb- 
ances, and who like him had judged it prudent 
to seek their safety in flight. What were the 
fortune and situation in life of these persons 

* Appendix, No. 

^ Life of Chaucer, prefixed to Urry's Edition. 
^ Testament of Love, Book I, page 488, col. 1, Uny's 


we are not Informed : Chaucer however had chap.l. 

brought av/ay with him a larger supply of issj. 
money than they, or was more successful in 
obtaining remittances from home ; and, with 
that liberality which we should expect from 
the gentleness and kindness of his temper, 
was eager to supply their wants and relieve 
their distress "*. 

These persons, he tells us, were afterward 
driven out of Zealand \ It is not easy to ac- 
count for their expulsion on any other sup- 
position, than that they were pursued by the 
animosity of the English court, and that the 
government of these provinces, by way of 
compliment to Richard, refused any longer 
to shelter them. Chaucer was not driven 
out : he was therefore regarded with less an- 
tipathy by the ministers of Richard. He was 
not even deprived of his office of comptroller 
of the customs ; and in the beginning of the 

^ Testament of Love, Bock I, p. 487. col. 2. 
' DittOj page 4S8, col. 1, Urry's Edition. 

B 2 


CHAP.L. year 1385, when it is perhaps reasonable to 
1385. suppose that he was already in exile, a patent 
was issued in his favour, permitting him to 
execute its functions by deputy ^ His situ- 
ation with the government of his country 
could not have been very desperate, at a 
moment when they granted him an indulg- 
ence which he had never presumed to solicit 
in the season of his highest favour. 

Treachery But, notwithstanding the comparative for- 

friends at bearaucc of the English p;overnment, the em- 
home, o o 

barrassments which Chaucer suffered were 
exceedingly great. The persons to whom he 
intrusted the management of his affairs in ab- 
sence, appear to have been some of those who 
had been involved with him in the affair of 
Northampton ; but, instead of proving faith- 
ful to the confidence he reposed in them, 
they acted with the basest treachery, detained 
from him his income, and let out his apart- 
ments to hire, without accounting to him for 

^ Appendix, Isio, 


the rent, with the purpose, as he says, of chap. l. 

causing him to perish for want of neces- "TsssT" 

saries ^ 

From this statement it appears to follow is accom- 
panied by 

that Chaucer took his wife with him, if she h,s wife. 
were living when he went into exile. Had 
she remained at home to superintend his con- 
cerns, it is not probable that he could have 
been exposed to so great misfortunes. Hence 
we may infer that the attachment, which 
subsisted so long between them even before 
marriage, had not subsided. Prudence would 
have dictated their separation. But Chaucer 
was too deeply pervaded with the human and 
domestic affections, to be able to consent to 
such a measure. He xhose rather to expose 
himself to every distress, and to trust to the 
proverbially uncertain tenure of friendship in 
adversity, than to tear himself from his dearest 
connections ". 

* Testament of Love, Book I, page 488, col. 1 . 

^ Rymer has preserved, in his manuscript collection, a 
receipt, signed by Chaucer, of half a year's pension to him- 
self, and half a year's to Philippa his wife, a copy of which 
is inserted in the Appendix to this volume. Taking this as 


CHAP. L. The family of Chaucer, so far as their 
1385. names have come down to us, consisted of 

His child. i r i 

ren. two sons : T homas, afterward speaker of the 
house of commons ; and Lewis, to whom he 
has addressed his Conclusions of the Astro- 
labie. The age of Thomas, at the period of 
his father's exile, was about thirteen ; and 
Lewis was in his fourth year. Whether he 

my guide, I entertained a very sanguine hope of obtaining an 
exact account of the dates of the commencement and close of 
Chaucer's matrimonial life. Could the series of these receipts 
be found, these dates might with great probability be inferred 
from the period at which the receipts given by Chaucer in 
behalf of his wife began and finished. Her pension was con- 
ferred upon her, in consideration of her having been maid of 
honour to the queen of Edward III. She was therefore pro- 
bably an unmarried woman at the time it was granted, was in 
the receipt of it at the period of her marriage, and continued 
to receive it till her death. It is not unlikely that the whole 
series of these receipts is still in existence; but I have been 
unsuccessful in my endeavour to discover where they are de- 
posited. I applied successively to the Exchequer-OfRce in the 
Temple, to the Office of the Clerk of the Pells in Westmin- 
ster-Hall, and to the Record-Office in the Chapter-House of 
Westminster Abbey. From all the persons to whom I applied 
I experienced the greatest politeness and attention, but all 
concurred in the most positive assurances that no such records 
exist in their offices. 


was accompanied by both of them in his flight chap. l. 
is uncertain ; it is probable that, if the wife i^^^ 
of Chaucer attended him, they also took with 
them their youngest son. Chaucer, as we 
have seen, was desirous to effect what is pro- 
verbially called the raising a family ; that is, 
to place his posterity in such a manner with 
respect to fortune and station, as to produce 
a sort of probability that their descendants for 
several generations would rank among the 
more eminent members of the commonwealth 
of England. We may therefore believe that 
one of the anxieties he suffered in his ad- 
versity, arose from the miscarriage he seemed 
destined to suffer in this favourite scheme. 

Thomas Chaucer was at this time thirteen 
years of age. We may draw some conclusion 
as to his talents and the respectability of his 
character, from the high station of speaker 
which he occupied in successive parliaments, 
from his having married into an eminent and 
opulent family, and from his leaving a pos- 
terity by his only daughter, who had a very 
near prospect of ascending the throne. He 
could not have had a character whicli nature 


CHAP. L. ally led to these honours, without possessing 
J3g5 qualities at the age of thirteen, which, to an, 
eye so practised and discerning as that of the 
poet, must have led to great expectations 
and fond visions of what the boy might one 
day prove. We may believe that he was 
carefully educated, for we know that his 
brother was so educated : and perhaps the 
age at which young Chaucer had now ar- 
rived is one of the most interesting periods 
of human life. It is an epoch when so much 
of understanding, adventure, imagination, 
perseverance and integrity may have mani- 
fested themselves, as no longer to expose the 
fond father to an alarm lest all his hopes of 
his darling child may be mere phantoms of 
the brain ; at the same time that, the destin- 
ation of the child being not yet unfolded, the 
father has room to amuse himself with a 
thousand varying pictures of greatness, talents 
and worth, and at the close of his reverie to 
pronounce with complacency. One of these 
shall my son assuredly be ! What was the 
fortune of the younger son of Chaucer, or 
even whether he ever arrived at manhood, is 


unknown : we have only his father's tes- chap, l. 
timony to the ripeness of his intellect, as 1385. 
well as to the ardour of his own paternal 
affection, in the circumstance of his having 
addressed a treatise of astronomy to this son 
at the age of ten years. We may believe then 
that, when Chaucer viewed the enterprising 
youth of thirteen, and the helpless child of 
four, he pronounced to himself, that scarcely 
any question of party, any course to be 
steered in the doubtful and uncharted sea of 
politics, could justify him in having risqued 
the consigning these children to obscurity, 
and exposing them to all the temptations, 
contumelies and intellectual famine of a poor 

Chaucer's residence in the Netherlands Hisemb^r. 


proved to him a continual source of anxiety. 
His resources failed : his friends not only 
deserted, but added to that baseness the guilt 
of robbing, him. By every favourable wind 
he expected supplies from England ; but 
every wind brought him nothing but disap- 
pointment. Perhaps he expected a more kind 
and hospitable reception from his wife's re- 


^^H'-'-P-^- lations than they extended to him. Perhaps 
13S5. he had that high spirit, which is found ex- 
tremely congenial to an enlarged mind, that 
prompted him to refuse obligations. It is 
very probable that in Hainault he found re- 
lations of his wife, who were in a capacity 
to afford him pecuniary assistance. The 
reigning sovereign of the country, Albert, 
duke of Bavaria, and earl of Holland, Hain- 
ault and Zealand, was brother of the prince 
who had married Matilda of Lancaster, sister 
to Blanche ; and it is likely that this sove- 
reign would not have permitted the poet to 
suffer any extreme distress. But Chaucer, 
who had for many years lived a life of opu- 
lence and filled situations of eminence in his 
own country, could not perhaps brook the 
idea of receiving a precarious and eleemo- 
synary subsistence in a foreign land. In fine 
he resolved, rather than languish in exile and 
beggary, to return home, and submit his life, 
if necessary, to the laws and lawyers of his 

Chaucer had, till now, been a stranger to 
misfortune. We have seen reason to believe 


tliat he was the son, perhaps the only son, chap, l^ 
of an opulent tradesman. He received a las.'i. 
distinguished and expensive education ; and 
tried his fortune in what men have agreed 
to call the honourable profession, of the law. 
He had scarcely entered this career, when 
he was withdrawn from it by the invitation 
of Edward III. He was domiciliated under 
the wing of the palace ; he was employed to 
form the mind of a prince possessing a thou- 
sand advantages from nature and fortune, 
who proved to him a constant friend, and 
was perpetually loading him with benefits 
and favour. He was essentially the court 
poet without the formality of the name ; and 
if we, at this distance of time, through the 
veil of a language to us obsolete and semi- 
barbarous, and with poets who have improved 
upon the half-assured essays of Chaucer in 
the degree that Spenser and Shakespear and 
Milton have done, cannot read his compo- 
sitions without confessing the great and the 
genuine poet, it is easy to imagine what must 
have been the idolatry of his contemporaries, 
when bis works were brought into notice 


CHAP. L. by the sunshine of royal favour, when his 
1385. language was perfection and grace, and when, 
from the rarity of the spectacle, a poet was 
regarded as more than man, and such pro- 
ductions as those of Chaucer were deemed 
the perfection, the Hercules' Pillars, of human 
genius. Encouraged, though not rendered ca- 
pricious and insolent, by these advantages, 
Chaucer gave the reins to his inclination, 
studied no rigid maxims of economy, and in- 
dulged with no less freedom and unconstraint 
* the costly pleasures of the table and of an 
elegant style of life, than the more genuine 
and simple delights of study, or of a solitary 
and romantic excursion among woods and 
hills and streams. 
His retired It must therefore have been a bitter trial 

stkute that Chaucer sustained in the period of his 
exile. He was poor ; deserted by his old 
friends, who cruelly took advantage of his 
absence to oppress and destroy him ; with no 
admirers, no hospitable greeting, perhaps not 
one sympathising sentiment beyond the bo- 
som of his own family : and this to him, 
who had been surrounded with flatterers. 



whose name the voice of eulogium had dwelt chap l. 
upon till the very echo was tired with repe- i3S5. 
tition, whose visits had made a holiday, and 
whose presence had been every where cheered 
with welcome. Chaucer did not, like Milton, 
when he travelled into foreign parts, present 
the inhabitants of the different countries he 
visited with specimens of his genius in the 
language most familiar to those inhabitants. 
In this one respect at least he was prouder 
than his sublime successor. He knew that 
the delicate and discriminating cultivation of 
one language is a task mighty enough for one 
genius. He disdained to prattle in a foreign 
tongue, " of whiche," as he says, " English- 
men have as gode a fantasye, as the Jay whan 
he chatereth Englishe'';" and he good-hu- 
mouredly laughed at the attempts of his friend 
Gower in this kind. The consequence how- 
ever was, that, when he came into the Ne- 
therlands, he came among a people who had 
no preconceived consciousness of his merit. 

* Testament of Love^ Prologue. 


CHAP.L. and who, as to the power of relishing what 

13S5. he had produced, were not less barbarous than 

Ovid had found the borderers upon the Eux- 

ine sea. 

Chaucer returned to England, full of in- 

Returns to dlgnation against the persons to whom he had 
^^" ' confided his affairs in his absence. They 
were some of those who had been engaged 
with him in the affair of John of North- 
ampton ; for, when he gives vent to his re- 
sentment against them, he at the same time 
expresses his sorrow for the part he had 
taken in city-politics, from a conviction that, 
^ whatever were the merits of the cause in 
which he had been engaged, the persons 
with whom he had acted were, ihany of 
them, such as it was no way honourable to 
him to have been connected with. He there- 
fore came back to his native soil, anxious to 
withdraw from the cares and turmoils of 
political contention j and, though willing, as 
\YQ may suppose, to make every exertion that 
gratitude or friendship could demand for the 
service of John of Gaunt, yet resolved not 
again to volunteer in the struggles of op- 


posing parties, nor hastily to believe, because chap, l. 
a cause was good, and the end in view was ""TassT" 
honourable, that the persons engaged in that 
cause were public-spirited, and would disin- 
terestedly and honestly cooperate in the mea- 
sures necessary to secure its success. He 
therefore hoped, divorced as he was from his 
former associates by the treachery of their 
conduct, that he should be suffered to remain 
obscure and unmolested in the bosom of his 

In this however he had been too sanguine, imprisoned 
What were the motives of the ministers of Tower. 
Richard for taking him into custody is doubt- 
ful. According to his ovv^n account, they 
were desirous of extorting from him some 
confession as to his confederates. Satisfied, 
as they were, of the innocence and honour 
of the king of Castille, they perhaps hoped 
to gather from Chaucer something that might 
be tortured into an accusation against his 
patron, and might enable them to revive and 
eke out their infamous prosecution of this 
virtuous prince. Chaucer had scarcely arrived 
in England, before he was arrested by an 


,^^^^''^' order from the court, and committed prisoner, 

1385. as is supposed, to the Tower. 
Examined The first iudication which can be traced 

as a wit- 
ness in of Chaucer being again in England, occurs 

the court- too & » 

miiitmy. j^ the mouth of October 1386. It was at 
this period that he gave the testimony to 
which we have already had occasion to refer, 
in the remarkable cause of Scroop and Gros- 
venor, at the church of St. Margaret, West- 
minster '. Supposing therefore that he made 
use of his leave of absence, granted in No- 
vember 1384, to retire to the continent, his 
exile continued for nearly two years. If this 
were not the date of his flight, it must have 
taken place later, and of course have con- 
tinued for a shorter period. From these pre- 
mises it seems to follow that he was brought 
up from the Tower to give his testimony in 
this cause, by an order from the court- 
military, who must be supposed to have been 
furnished with sufficient powers for that 

' Vol. I, Appendix^ No. 1. 


It must also have been during his impri- ^"^^ ^' 
sonment in the Tower, that he was deprived i3.s6. 

Is stripped 

of the two offices, which he had now held "f^i" 


for years, and which, as he informs us, he o*"^' 
had always executed with the highest honour 
and the strictest integrity J, of comptroller of 
the customs in the port of London, and 
comptroller of the small customs. In De- 
cember of this year Adam Yerdeley was ap- 
pointed to the first of these situations ^, and 
Henry Gisors to the second \ in the very 
terms of the patents by which they had 
formerly been conferred upon Chaucer. 

The date of this dismission of Chaucer byThoma* 

, , of Wood- 

from the places of consideration and profit stock, 

■'■ •*• duke of 

which he had held for so ions; a time is ^io"«s- 

o ter. 

entitled to notice. Thomas of Woodstock, 
making use of the parliament as his instru- 
ment, superseded the royal authority in Oc- suspension 
tober, and vested the whole functions of the r^yaia"- 
government in the hands of fourteen persons 

J Testament of Love, Bock II, p. 502, col. 1. 
^ Dec. 4. Pat. 10 Ric. 2, p. 1, m. Q. 
' Dec. 14. Ditto, m. 4. 



CHAP L. nominated for that purpose "". Two months 
i3So. after this extraordinary stretch of power. 
Chancer was reduced to a private station. It 
was against the administration of the king 
that he had struggled in 1384; it was by 
them that he was driven inta exile, and that, 
having chosen to return to his native coun- 
try, he was committed to the Tower, Yet 
they treated him with the veneration due to 
his unrivalled genius, and never proceeded 
to extremities against him. When he was 
most exposed to the displeasure of the crown, 
they had the liberality to grant him per- 
mission to execute that ofRce by deputy, 
which he was no longer able to execute in 
person. It was reserved for Thomas of 
Woodstock, the patron of Gower, and who 
had so lately shown himself the vehement 
and intemperate partisan of John of Gaunt, 
but in whom ambition finally swallowed up 
every other sentiment, while he continued 
Chaucer's confinement in the Tower, to de- 

Knighton, ad ann. 


prive him of his principal means of com- ch^p.l. 
petence and subsistence. isaG. 

It is necessary however that we should ob- chronology 

•' ^ ^ ^ of Chau- 

serve that we have circumstantial evidence cci'sexue 

and im- 

alone of Chaucer having; been concerned in ?"'""- 
the proceedings of John of Northampton. I 
was very desirous of finding the copy of the 
warrant committing Chaucer to prison ; and 
for that purpose searched the Clause Rolls of 
the eighth, ninth, tenth, eleventh and twelfth 
years of Richard II, in other words, of the 
period from the twenty-first of June 1384 
to the twenty-first of June ISSg, but with- 
out success. This warrant, if discovered, 
would probably have afforded sufficient ma- 
terials of deciding respecting the cause, as 
well as the period, of Chaucer's imprison- 

But, without this voucher, the story seems 
to be attended with sufficient evidence. 
Chaucer's exile, return, and imprisonment 
in the Tower, rest upon his own authority, 
but are unaccompanied with dates. The 
cause of his misfortunes he thus describes. 

c 2 


cHAP.L. " In my youth I was drawe to be assentaunt 
1386. and in my mightes helping to certaine ° con- 
juracions and other grete matters of rulynge of 
citezins ; and ° thylke thinges ben my drawers 
in and exitours to tho matters, werne so 
painted and coloured, that, at the prime face, 
^ me seemed them noble and glorious to al the 
peple. I than, ^wenynge mykell merite have 
deserved in furthering and maintenaunce of 
tho thinges, ' besyed and laboured with all 
my diligence, in werking of thilke matters 
to the ende. And trewly, to tell you the 
* sothe, * me rought lytell of any hate of the 
^ mighty senatours in thilke cite, ne of " com- 
munes malice, for two "^ skilles ; one was, 

' confederacies. 

• the motives which drew me in and excited me to the 
measures I pursued, were so coloured by the persons whose 
leading I followed. 

p they appeared to me. 

"^ believing that I should deserve well of the public. 

"" busied myself. 'sooth. ' I took little account. 

' the magistrates, " the common people. 

* reasons. Sax. 


I ^ had comforte to ben in soche plite, that ^"^^•^- 
both profite were to me and to my frendes ; 13S6. 
another was, ^ for commen profite in co- 
munaltje is not, but pece and tranquilite with 
just governaunce proceden from thilke pro- 
fite ; ^ sithen me thought the ^ first painted 
thinges, malice and evyll meninge, with- 
outen any gode ^ availinge to anye peple, 
and of tyrannye purposed '," 

Chaucer then states the pretences and 
modes of reasoning brought forward by the 
party he embraced. ^' The thinges whiche, 
quod they, ben for commune avauntage, 
maye not stand, ^ but we ben executours of 

* sa\y myself to be in such circumstances, as enabled me to 
be of service both to myself and my friends. 

^ a belief that the social state produces no general advan- 
tage, unless it is attended with peace and trancjuillity, and ^ 
just and impartial government. 

* besides, moreover. 

* the things varnished and glossed over to sight by the royal 
party, to have been. 

* descending, following. 

« Testament of Love, Book I, p. 485, col, % 
^ unless. 


CHAP.L. ^Yio matters, and auctorite of execucion by 
I3b6. e comen election to us be delyvered ; and that 
muste enter by strength of ^ your main- 
tenaunce ; for, we out of soch degre put, 
oppression of these olde hindrers shal againe 
^ surmounten, and putten you in soche sub- 
jection that in endlesse wo ye shul com- 
plaine. The governementes, quod thei, of 
your cite, left in the handes of '' torcenciou$ 
citezins, shal bring in pestilence and de- 
struccion to you gode menne ; and therfore 
let us have the comune administration to 
abate soche yvelles. There ben citezins many, 
for ' ferde of execucion that shall be done for 
extorcions by hem committed, ben evermore 
ayenst these purposes and al other gode men- 
inges V He adds, " And so, vvrhen it fell that 
fre eleccion by grete clamour of ^ moche 
peple [who], for grete disese of misgovern- 

* common. ^ the citizens'. 

« come up, arise. ^ usurious, using extortion. Speghl, 

' fear. ^ p. 'i'SC, col, 2. " the court party. 


aunce, so fervently ' stoden in ther eleccion chap. l. 
that they hem submitted to every "" maner i3s6\ 
face, rather than have suffered the maner and 
the rule of the " hated governours (notwith- 
Standyng that in the contrary helden moch 
comune ° meiny, that have no consideracion 
but onelye to voluntary lustes withouten 
reson), than thilke governour so forsaken, 
^ faininge toforne his undoinge for misrule in 
his time, ^ shope to have letted thilke elec- 
cion, and have made a newe him selfe to 
have bene chosen, and ' under that mokyl 
fore arered'." 

This description coincides in so many 
particulars with Walsingham's account of 
the proceedings of John of Northampton, 
that it is almost impossible to doubt that 
these were the proceedings in which the poet 

' stood, persisted. ™ imaginable disadvantage, 

" the popular party, ° followers, adherents. Fb, 

P conceiving beforehand, anticipating. 

•i purposed to have hindered, 

' under that pretence raised a great uproar and commotioin, 

» p. 486, col. 2. 


CHAP.L. found himself so deeply entangled. If Chau- 
liicO. cer describes the measures adopted by the 
popular party less favourably than we should 
expect from a confederate, or than the mea- 
sures probably deserved, it should be con- 
sidered that, in the work from which the 
above extracts are taken, one of his objects 
is to deliver his recantation, and reconcile 
himself with the government he had offend- 
ed. Elsewhere he says of himself in the 
course of the work, " Thy worldly godes 
ben ^fulliche dispente, and thou berafte out 
of dignitie of office \" This proves to a 
certainty, that the composition was not writ- 
ten till after the close of the year l 386. 
Convulsive To the period in which, as it appears, 
Eogiaud in Chaucer was committed to the Tower, suc- 

tlis .eiuh 

^^,'''" ceeded a loner series of civil broils and con- 

vcnth o 

Rfcba^du tention, during which he probably was almost 
-forgotten by those who had it in their power 
to restore to him the advantages of liberty. 

* fully» ' p. 490, col. 2. 


The same hand which gave away the em- chap. l. 
ployments of the poet, had annihilated the "lissT* 
royal authority, and reduced the king to a 
cipher. Richard did not remain supine under 

1 ^87 

the indignities which were heaped upon him. 
Under pretence of escorting his favourite 
Vere, who, it had been agreed upon with 
the usurper, was to be sent into a sort of 
honourable exile in Ireland, he left the me- 
tropolis, and journeyed into Wales " ; but, 
having remained some time there, he turned 
back, and, with Vere, De la Pole, Tresilian 
and others, held a council at Nottingham Augustas. 
respecting the best means to be employed 
for resuming the royal authority ^. The com- 
missioners who now possessed the govern- 
ment of the realm, were alarmed at the in- 
telligence of what was going forward ; and 
with great art and a thousand specious in- 
sinuations, induced Richard to return to the 
metropolis ^. No measure could have been 
ipore fatal to his interests. From the moment Novem» 

ber 10. 

* Walsingham, ad ann. * Knighton, aci ann» 


cHAP.L. ^Q which he acceded to this proposal, he 

1387. became virtually a prisoner. The inexorable 

Woodstock proceeded without mercy to the 

destruction of as many of the advisers and 

creatures of the court, as he could get into 

■■ his power. He called together a parliament ; 

February. sLTid^ as the asscmbly of that sort which 
stained the annals of the last reign was sur- 
named the Good Parliament, so this, equally 
a favourite with the blind and undistinguish- 
ing vulgar, gained the appellation of the 
Wonder- working Parliament ". One day, 
they sent sir Robert Tresilian and sir Ni- 
cholas Brembar to the gallows ; and another, 
they passed sentence of death upon six of 
the judges'. Previously to this ceremony, 
these magistrates were publicly dragged from 
their seats in Westminster Hall, and com- 
mitted to the Tower ^ The pretext of their 
condemnation was the opinion they had sign- 
ed at Nottingham, declaring the commission, 
which had deprived Richard of the govern- 

^ Stow, ad ann. ^ Knighton^ ad ann, 


ment and vested the royal authority in a chap.l. 
council of fourteen persons, to be contrary ^sss. 
to the law and constitution of England. Their 
sentence was afterward commuted into ba- 
nishment for life. The lawyer who officially 
drew up the paper which they were arraigned 
for signing, was also condemned, and exe- 
cuted \ Sir Simon Burley and three other 
persons of great distinction about the court 
were the next victims; and Woodstock is 
said to have permitted the queen to remain 
three hours on her knees before him, in- 
treating in vain for the life of this accom- 
plished courtier ^ 

During these scenes of tumult and con- situation of 

r • /^i • J • . ^1 Chaucer 

lusion Chaucer remamed a prisoner, in the in this 
centre of all the violences that were com- ^"'° ' 
mitting, and unable either to act or to escape. 
It is probable that, in this fierce contention 
as to who should be master of the kingdom, 
he was considered as a person of inferior 

^ Parliamentary History of England, ad ann. 
* Humcj ad ann. 


cHAP.L. consequence, and obliged to yield his apart- 
13SS. ments to some statesman of loftier title who 
was a few days after conducted to the scaffold. 
He could not feel much at ease in the cir- 
cumstances in which he was placed ; and 
perhaps scarcely knev/ whether his personal 
safety V70uld best be promoted by the con- 
tinuance of the usurpation, or by the restor- 
ation of the royal authority. He had been 
an officer of the government ; he had been 
favoured and distinguished by Anne of Bo- 
hemia ; and it might be doubted whether 
the stern and savage Woodstock, who had 
already stripped him of his employments, 
would not find a time to proceed to the last 
extremities against him. On the other hand, 
if the kiftg were restored, the prospects of 
Chaucer would not be much improved. It 
was the king and his ministers that he had 
offended ; it was the king who had driven 
him into exile, and who, when he privately 
returned, coneigned him as a state- prisoner 
to the Tower. He had therefore little to 
hope, and something to fear, from the revival 
of the royal authority. 


Chaucer has thrown out many allusions to chap. l. 
the ease and opulence he had formerly en- lags. 
joyed. " I, that some tyme In delicious 
houres was wont to enjoy blisful ^stoundes, 
am now dryve by unhappy *" hevinesse to 
bewaile my sondrie ^ yvels in ^ tene. — Thus, 
^ witlesse, thoughtful!, ^ sightlesse lokynge, I 
endure my penaunce in this derke prisonne, 
'' caitifFned fro frendshippe and acquaintaunce, 
and forsaken of al that any worde dare 
speke'." And again, " Although I hadde 
lyttell, in ^respecte amonge other grete and 
worthy, yet had I a faire ''parcel, as me 
thought for the tyme, in ' forthering of my 
sustenaunce. — I had richesse suflisauntly to 
*" weive nede ; I had dignite to be reverenced 
in worship. Power me thought that I had to 
kepe fro min enemies ; and me semed to 
shine in glory of renome. — Every of tho 
joyes is turned into his contrary ; for richesse, 

^ seasons. . "^ adversity. ^ evils. ^ sorrow. 

^ void of foresight. ^ looking at a blank. ^ captived, 
' Testament of Love, Book I, init. ^ comparison. 

^ portion, ' furthering, procuring, "• wave, prevent. 


CHAP. L. now have I povertie j for dignitie, now am I 
I3b8. enprisoned ; in stede of power, wretchednesse 

I sufFre j and, for glory of renome, I am now 

dispised and "fouliche hated °." 
Sells his Nor in these complaints was the poet guilty 

pensions. x o y 

of any exaggeration. We have seen that, 
early in his imprisonment, he was stripped, 
by the prevailing party, of the official ap- 
pointments which had supplied the principal 
part of his income. In May 1388, we again 
find him obtaining a patent ^, permitting him 
to resign the two pensions of twenty marks 
each, which were all -that now remained to 
him of the bounty of the crown, and which 
were now probably exchanged for the money 
demanded by the urgent and immediate wants 
of himself and his family. 
• It is in adversity, more than on any other 

1 389. 

His en ploy- occasiou, that a well-ordered mind reaps to 

ments in r- i ' •it r* i- 

prison, the full the pre-acquired advantages of liter- 
ature, cultivation and reflection^ The muse, 

» foully. » Book II, p. 502, col. 1. 

» Appendix, No. XVIII. 


— ^the miise that had won the ear of his chap.l. 

former sovereigns, and that had been the issg. 
primary cause of his fortune during life, as 
well as of his lasting fame, — accompanied 
Chaucer to the gloomy and dreary walls in 
which he was now shut up. Cast down, 
gimong common men, he yet did not feel like 
a common man. In this uncertainty, humili- 
ation and solitude, he recollected his former 
pursuits, the cherished visions of his happier 
days, and became again an author. It is 
likely that he was forbidden the visits of his 
friends ; but by the magic power of fancy he 
called about him celestial visitants. It is likely 
that a jailor or a turnkey was planted in his 
apartment, under pretence of checking unli- 
censed attempts at correspondence or escape, 
but in reality serving only to exclude him 
from one of the best inheritances of man, the 
power of being alone in the silence of ele- 
mental nature and with his own thoughts. 
Chaucer however, assisted by the workings 
of his mind, instead of seeing continually the 
base groom who attended him, saw only the 



CHAP. L. Gods who protected and cheered him in 

1389. his cell. 
Testament Chauccr 111 hls youth had translated Boe- 

of Love. •' 

thius. The best work of Boethius, that which 
Chaucer had put into English, was composed 
by the Roman while he was a state-prisoner 
under the reign of Theodoric king of the 
I Goths. In the prison in which he was im- 

mured, Boethius, soon after he had finished 
the work, was murdered by order of the 
tyrant. Chaucer, in the gloomy reveries of 
his fancy, reaped a certain pleasure in ima- 
gining a parallel between himself and the 
virtuous Boethius. Boethius was accused of 
having been concerned in certain attempts for 
the liberties of Rome: Chaucer had also of- 
fended the dishonest government of England 
by attempts for the liberties of his native city. 
Boethius has been applauded by all succeed- 
ing times as the last citizen of Rome who 
was worthy of the name of a Roman : 
Chaucer also hoped that he should be re- 
membered as the strenuous adversary of that 
profligate administration of Richard II, who. 


by the measures into which they had entered; chap.l. 
prepared the tragical catastrophe which over- issg. 
took their master at the immature age of 
thirty-two. Boethius united in his own per- 
son the characters of the patriot, the poet, 
^nd the firm and philosophical mind superior 
to events : and Chaucer, in the adversity 
which overclouded him, naturally wished that 
hereafter in these respects he might be classed 
with Boethius. Influenced by this wish, he 
sat down to write an imitation of the admired . 
work of the Roman ; and, as Boethius had 
penned the Consolation of Philosophy, Chau- 
cer wrote, in a style much more mystical and 
obscure, but suitable to the taste of his age, 
the Testament of Love. 

Chaucer however does not appear altoge- Compaied 
ther to the advantage he desired, in the com- ethius's 

, , Consola- 

parison with Boethius. Not only the Testa- t'^-n of 

. ... Philoso- 

ment of Love is much inferior, as a literary pi^y* 
composition, to the Consolation of Philo- 
sophy ; but the personal character, and moral 
and sentimental discipline of the mind, of 
Chaucer are by no means presented in so 
favourable a light in this composition, as the 


CHAP. L. tempa: of Boethius is exhibited in the work 
138^. of the Roman. The Testament of Love isi 
interesting to a reader of taste, because such 
an one will be eager to trace the workings of 
the mind of Chaucer, when deliberating about 
his fate, and anxious for the unexplored and" 
unknown future ; and because we are always 
delighted to see a man possessing the vigour 
and elasticity in the midst of calamity, to 
employ his talents, and to call up the re^ 
sources of reason and literature. But the 
pleasure we experience in the perusal of Bo- 
ethius goes beyond this. We see him cheer- 
ful in defiance of oppression, and exercising 
a strong and unfettered talent while his tor- 
mentors were almost at the door. An un-^ 
vitiated observer will love even the weak- 
nesses of our nature, and will hate the Stoic 
of the domestic scene. But the weaknesses 
which w^ake in our bosoms the pulse of ap-^ 
probation, are those of sympathy, anxiety 
for the fate of others, and an entire and full 
participation in their feelings. We love the 
,man who is inconsolable for the danger of 
his friend, and inconsolable for his loss. But, 


m the midst of disasters which personally chap.l. 
afFect himself, it is glorious, or, which is 1339. 
better, it is honourable, for him to be serene. 
Boethius, though a Christian, had been 
bred in the school of Pagan philosophy. 
Chaucer was a Christian of that school whi^h 
was formed by monks, and consummated 
by friars. It was scarcely possible for a man 
thus educated, to look death in the face, on 
the bed of sickness, or in the solitude of the 
closet, with serenity. The death-bed of those 
ages was studiously set round by the clergy 
with penitences, and accompanied by an 
army of terrors. Its great lesson was pusiU 
lanimity. In the series of successive centuries, 
we shall scarcely find a single example in the 
middle ages of a man led to the place of ex- 
ecution, except for the cause of religion, who 
met death with firmness. The heroes and 
patriots of this period were of a different 
stamp from those of earlier or later times j 
and, though highly entitled to our commend-^ 
ation, they want a certain finish particularly 
calculated to render the recollection of them 

D 2 


^"^P-^- interesting to us \ Chaucer's production, 
1382. written from his prison in the Tower, is in- 

*! One solitary instance of exception offers itself at this 
period in the history of France, so beautiful and interesting, 
that it would be almost treason against the character of the 
human species as it existed in the fourteenth century, to omit 
it, Jean Desmarets. advocate general to Charles VI, had 
offended the duke of Burgundy, the king's uncle, by resisting 
some of his prodigal measures. The duke, who was of a most 
vindictive temper, seized the occasion of the insurrection in 
1382, an4 contrived to have the name of this innocent and 
virtuous magistrate included in the list of those who were 
destined to atone with their lives the guilt of the rebellion. 
Desmarets, who was above seventy years of age, was dragged 
to the place of execution amidst the sympatliles and astonish- 
ment of innumerable spectators. Arrived there, he was ex- 
horted to cry out for pardon from the king ; and it was in- 
timated to him that by that submission he might save his life. 
" I have rendered," answered the grey-haired magistrate, " a 
true and loyal service to king Philip his great- grandsire, to 
king John his grandfather, and to king Charles who begot him ; 
none of these princes ever charged me with disloyalty or 
neglect, nor would the king that now is, if he had attained the 
age and discernment of a man : I will cry out for mercy to 
God alone." Saying this, he came forward with a look of 
serenity and fortitude, and submitted his neck to the stroke of 
the executioner. 

Villaret, Histoire de France; ad ann. 


fectedwith all these faults : he complains too ckap. l. 
much and too grievously, to possess the pro- usg. 
per advantage for exciting our commiseration. 
It is not to be expressed how much these 
habits of mind tended to place the virtues and 
the honour of the oppressed at the mercy of 
the oppressor, and to inspire the prosperous 
man with hard and ungenerous dispositions 
toward his victim. 

The Testament of Love is to a consider- itsaiiego- 
able degree an allegorical composition. Chau- 
cer says, " In this boke be many privie thinges 
^ wimpled and fold, ^ unneth shull ^ leude men 
the ^ plites unwinde "." How much of it was 
understood by his contemporaries it is not 
easy for us to decide ; they had the advantage 
of being bred in the school of allegory, and. 
were accustomed to guess its riddles. In 
every substitution of one name or one thing 
for another, however arbitrary it may be in 

"■ muffled, wrapped. ^ not easily, scarcely. 

* ignorant. ^ plaits, intricacies. 

. " Book III, p. 519, col. 2. 


CHAP. L. appearance, writers of the same period, mo^ 
"""issoT dified by the same opinions and manners, and 
reading each other's productions, will _in- 
evitably fall into a similar method j so that 
a familiar acquaintance with a series of com- 
positions of this sort must afford great advan- 
tage for the explanation of any one of them. 
That advantage is now scarcely to be pro- 
cured ; and therefore to readers of the present 
day the " many privie thinges" folded up by 
Chaucer in his work will not without great 
difficulty be penetrated. 
Msr^uerite Thc most remarkable circumstance in the 
allegory of this performance is the use made 
of the term Marguerite, The author, toward 
the conclusion, shows himself willing to afford 
his reader every assistance which he deemed 
necessary or convenient to prevent the mis- 
interpretation of his work. With this view 
he thus expresses himself. " Also I praie that 
every man parlitelie ^ mowe knowe, through 
what intencion of ^ hert this tretise have I 


y heart. 


drawe. How was it the ^ sightfull manna In chap.i,. 
desert to children of Israel was spirituell mete ? is^^. ' 
Bodily also it was ; for mennes bodies it no- 
rlsheth. And yet "" never the later, Christe it 
signified. Right so a Jewell ''betokeneth k 
gemme, and that is a stone vertuous, or els 
a perle. Margarite, a woman, ^ betokeneth 
grace, lernyng or wisedome of God, or els 
holie churche. If "^ bred through vertue is 
made holie fleshe, what is it that our God 
saith ? It is the spirit that yeveth life, the 
fleshe of nothyng it profiteth ^" 

Marguerite therefore in the Testament of 
Love, it seems, represents spiritual consolation. 
This however does not prevent Chaucer 
through his whole performance from consi- 
dering it as the name of a woman. He ' 
praises her peerless beauty, and laments his 
unworthiness to obtain her favour ; he ad- 
dresses her in the language of courtship, and 
intreats that she will not always show herself 

' visible. " nevertheless, * signifies. 

• bread through divine interpoation. 
'* Book III, ubi supra. 


^^AP-L. obdurate to his addresses. In one passage of 
13$9. his work, he completely forgets the allegorical 
sense in which he wishes to be understood, 
-and has the literal woman so clearly before 
his fancy, that he exclaims, " Alas, that ever 
^ kind made her ^ dedlie ^ !'* — a topic of regret 
'which can scarcely be thought applicable to 
that intellectual tr^iasure which he professes 
to have shadowed in his Marguerite. 

Testament It mav bc hcrc observed, that the plan 

of Love ^^ ' , -^ 

compared upon whlch thc Testamcut of Love is con- 

■with the 

Complaint structed, has a considerable tendency to con- 
^'^'^^ firm the interpretation which has been eiven 

Knight. ^ 9 

above of the Complaint of the Black Knighti 
The same turn of mind which dictated the 
allegory in the one case, would have led to 
the writing in an allegorical sense in the 
other : nor is there any thing more harsh and 
strained in representing loyalty under the 
image of love, than in describing spiritual 
consolation under the figure of a beautiful 
woman, and typifying the attainment of 

nature, ^mortal. * Book II, p. 505. col.l. 


God's grace by the humble pursuit of this chap.l. 
lady's favour. — It is sufficiently singular that, i389. 
so late as the end of the sixteenth century, speaJ's 
Shakespear composed more than one hundred 
and fifty sonnets, which, in their literal sense, 
are addressed to a man, with all the forms 
and expressions of the passion of love; but 
which probably cover some secret meaning 
that no critic has hitherto been so fortunate 
as to penetrate. 

One passaeje in the Testament of Love Chaucer's 

•*• ^ character 

deserves to be quoted, as expressing Chau- "[^^''^^- 
cer's opinion of his writings, formed when 
he had already arrived at a very ripe age, 
and was now placed under a cloud of peril 
and adversity, of which it was not easy for 
him to discern the issue. The sense he ex- 
presses of his own merits is not conveyed in 
terms altogether so elevated as those employed 
by Horace'' and Ovid*, but which perhaps 
for that very reason convey the idea of a more 

^ Carmina, Lib. IH, Carmen xxx. 
' Metamorphoses, Lib. XV, ver. 871. 


cHAP.L sober and full persuasion of the claims he 
1380. possessed to the commendation of mankind. 
The work principally consists of a dialogue 
between the prisoner and Love, who visits 
him in his cell, as Philosophy visited the pri- 
son of Boethius. Toward the close of their 
conversations, a question arises respecting pre- 
destination, a favourite topic among literary 
men in the times of Chaucer. For the pur- 
pose of introducing his own eulogium, the 
author chooses to forget the identity between 
himself and the writer of those performances 
which had so greatly illustrated the literature 
of England, and makes Love answer thus to 
the difficulties propounded by her pupil. *' I 
shall tell the, this lesson to lerne, — Myne 
owne true servaunte, the noble philosophical! 
poete in Englishe (whiche evermore hym 
busieth and travaileth right sore my name to 
increse ; wherfore all that willen me gode, 
owe to doe him worship and reverence both ; 
truly his better ne his ^ pere in schole of my 

' peer. 


rules coud I never finde) — -He, quod she, in ^"^^-l. 
a tretise that he made of my servaunt Troilus, 13S9. 
hath this matter touched,, and at the full this 
question ' assoiled. Certainly his noble saiyngs 
can I not amend : in godenes of gentil "" man- 
lich spech without any maner of nicitie of 
"starieres imaginacion, in wit, and in gode 
reson of ° sentence, he passeth al other 
P makers *'." 

It is remarkable that in this passage Chau- Testament 
cer commends himself in unqualified terms written 

- 1 r r ^ 1 ' previous- 

as the true servant or L,ove, and his poem ]y to the 

/- i-r-\ • • Legendc 

of Troilus and Creseide as an honourable of bode 

. • 1 1 • Women. 

example of that service ; m both these points 
contradicting the admissions of an opposite 
sort, and the apology, contained in the Pro- 
logue to the Legende of Gode Women. 
Hence it may perhaps be inferred, first, that Anne of 

, -r 1 . '11 r 1 Bohemi« 

the Legende was not written till arter the obtains 

period of Chaucer's disgrace, and was a sort ins par- 

' absolved, solved. •" manly. 

" This word is explained by none of the glossarists, 
" judgment, sententia. p poets. 

•« Book III, p. 518, col. 2. 


CHAP. L. of courtly compliment offered to the queen 

issg. on his restoration to favour ; secondly, that 

now'fiisc the Good Queen Anne had some share at 

mystical Icast iu obtaiuing his pardon ; and thirdly, 

worship of ... .-_^ ^ 

the i\iar- that it was in the Testament or Love, when 


or daisy, he kboured under calamity and depression, 
that Chaucer first adopted the mystical sy- 
stem of notions intended to be signified under 
the worship of the daisy. 
Restoratir^a Richard II. had now been for about two 

uf Richard 

^^ years and a half stripped of the prerogatives 

of royalty, and boiled with sentiments of im-^ 
patience at the thought of his degraded situ- 
ation. He did not fail to comment upon the 
violence and intemperance of Woodstock's 
proceedings ; he was persuaded that, how- 

I ever the bloody executions of the Wonder- 

v/orking Parliament and the inexorable temper 
betrayed by his uncle on that occasion might 
obtain the applause of the moment, they 
would not prove the basis of a lasting popu- 
larity. Men have a natural bias in favour of 
regular proceedings and old institutions ; and 
there was no reason to doubt that, if Richard 
skilfully watched his opportunity, he might 


easily regain all he had lost. The present was chap.l. 
a violent state of things, and was ill calculated igsc). 
to last. Richard was young ; he had done 
little of a positive nature to forfeit the affec- 
tions of his subjects ; he had been saved from 
perpetrating the worst crimes he meditated, 
by the auspicious interference of his mother or 
his consort. He was now twenty-two years 
of age, a period of life at which a man seems 
entitled to trial, and which is favourable to a 
certain degree of discretion. It was obvious 
that every thing was tending to the restor- 
ation of royal authority ; and little was re- 
quired of the king, more than to claim in a 
manly and spirited tone the place to which 
he was born. 

Richard II. seems at this time to have had 
able advisers. He came forward in the coun- 
cil-chamber, and asked what was the age to 
which he had attained ? He was answered 
by some who were secretly prepared for the 
scene. Am I not of an age then, rejoined 
he, to take the reins of government into my 
own handsi and to be no longer under the 


<^HAP.L. management of tutors ' ? by this language? 
1389. avoiding to throw impeachment upon the 
conduct of the usurpers, and merely signify- 
ing to them that their authority was at an end. 
He then proceeded to take the great seal from 
the present chancellor ^, and to dismiss Wood- 
stock and his associates from their employ- 
ments. He took no vengeance upon his ad- 
versaries ; he recalled none of his obnoxious 
ministers ; he published a general pardon ; 
and he remitted to his subjects a half-tenth 
and half-fifteenth which had been granted him 
by parliament. This revolution was effected 
without resistance ; and the imprudences and 
excesses of both parties seemed mutually con- 
signed to oblivion. 

It was on the third of May that Richard IL 
defeated the party of his uncle, Thomas of 
Woodstock ; and on the twelfth of July fol- 
lowing, Chaucer was appointed to the ho- 
nourable and lucrative office of clerk of the 

^ Walslngham, ad ann. ' Ryraef, 12 R. 2, Mai. $-. 


works. The nearness of these dates naturally chap.l. 
leads to the inference that there was some i38<^. 
connection between the events, and tends to 
confirm the conjecture already delivered that 
Chaucer owed his liberation to the inter- chaucerset 
position of the queen. Unhappily, how"ever, 
he did not obtain his enlargement uncon- 
ditionally ; and the terms upon which it was 
yielded form the principal blemish in the life 
of the poet. 

The advisers of Richard 11. insisted that impenchM 

his former 

Chaucer should not be set at liberty, till he associaie.% 
had made an ample confession of what they 
called his misdemeanours, and had impeached 
his former associates. To this proposal he 
ultimately yielded : and, as he tells us in the 
performance we have been considering, of- 
fered to prove the truth of his information, 
by entering, according to the modes of the 
times, the lists of combat with the parties, 
accused ; which they, as he adds, knowing 
the veracity of his allegations, declined '. 

' Book I, p. Vo7f col. 1. 

af Love. 


CHAP.L. The Testament of Love, as appears froni. 
1389. various allusions to the situation of the author 

Tesuraent in thc course of the production, was written: 
after Chaucer had given in his confession,: 
and before he was Uberated from confinement. 
It may therefore be referred to the month of 
June of the present year. His confession, 
which was made to the king, could not have 
been delivered earlier tha^n May. From Oc- 
tober ISSO to May 1389 Richard was totally 
stripped of authority ; and Chaucer could 
have had no motive to degrade himself by 
such a confession, and such an impeachment 
of the partisans with whom he had been en- 
gaged, as he appears to have yielded to. On 
the other hand, it may well be believed that, 
when he was appointed in July clerk of the 
works, he was no longer under confinement 
in the Tower. The work however, as will 
shortly be seen, was not published sooner 
than the year 1393. 

In the imperfect knowledge we possess 
respecting the transactions of this period, we 
are somewhat at a loss to conjecture what 
could be the motives of the ministers of 

Nature of 


Richgjd 11. for extorting from Chaucer the chap.l. 
concession of which we are speaking. It is 1389. 
scarcely to be imagined that they did it for 
the sole purpose of degrading his character : 
at the same time that John of Northampton, 
and his confederates would hardly appear of 
importance enough to be made objects of 
prosecution after so long an interval. In 
fact, Northampton obtained his pardon from 
the crown in the following year ". Chaucer 
himself seems to refer to persons of a higher 
rank than that of magistrates of the city of 
London, when he says, " Of tho confederacies 
maked by my soverains, I ^ nas but a ser- 
vaunt^" The memoirs and documents of 
the times, however, lend us no assistance in 
discovering the individuals. It could not be 
Woodstock and the heads of the usurpation ; 
for Richard conducted himself toward them 
on this occasion with the greatest forbearance 
and clemency. Least of all, could it be John 

" Pat. 14 Ric. 2, p. 1, m. 4. " ne was, was not. 

y Book II, p. 502, col. 1. 

' VOL, IV. E 



CHAP.L, of Gaunt ; for from this time forward, though 
~7g8C). the dissimilitude of character between him 
and the king always kept them at a distance 
from each other, yet Richard felt convinced 
of the fidelity and loyalty of his uncle, and 
under all trying circumstances resorted to him 
as his most assured and powerful supporter. 
His conduct This undoubtedly is the circumstance in 
the life of Chaucer, which conveys the most 
unfavourable impression of him to modern 
times. He stands here in the light of a per- 
son, who accepted the confidence of a certain 
party ; w^ho, from the persuasion that they 
might safely trust him, was admitted into 
their secrets ; who partook of their counsels, 
and shared their attempts ; and who afterward 
purchased his safety by betraying his as- 
sociates. Nothing can justify such a conduct, 
but the supposition that the individual by 
Vv'-hom it is adopted has been deluded into 
some project of an exceedingly criminal na- 
ture, that he is afterward led by his reflections 
to see it in its true enormity, and that no way 
remains to prevent the perpetration but by a 
judicial impeachment : such a situation is de- 


scribed In the person of Jaffier in abbe St. chap. l. 
Real's narrative of the Conspiracy of Venice. i3j<9. ' ' 
In that case the treachery employed may be 
admitted to be commendable, and in some 
degree to atone for the weakness and guilt 
incurred by the accuser in the beginning of 
the transaction. 

But the situation of Chaucer was by no 
means of this sOrt. The confederacy into 
which he had entered was probably a com- 
mendable one ; and the end for which it had 
been formed had passed by, and t^e confe- 
deracy been dissolved, before Chaucer gave 
information respecting his associates. 

What then were the motives of his con- its motive*. 
duct ? He has himself assigned one, in the in- 
dignation which he had conceived against 
them. They had plotted to starve hitn, had Resrenu 
cut off his supplies, and embezzled his income. 
He probably thought that no measures were 
to be kept with persons who had conducted 
themselves toward him so basely. He was 
impatient of being any longer accounted their 
ally. All that was resentful in his nature was 
stirred up at the thought of the treatment he 

E 2 





CHAP. L. had endured ; and he felt as if it would be an 
1389. offence against morality and human nature to 
suffer such villainy to go unpunished. These 
sentiments are undoubtedly congenial to the 
mind of a man deeply injured ; and especially 
when the injury proceeds from those for 
whom he has sacrificed much, whom he has 
liberally assisted in their difficulties, and for 
his connection with whom he is even still 
suffering calamity and distress. Such senti- 
ments may extenuate what is offensive in the 
conduct of Chaucer in this instance, but cannot 
justify it. He who pursues retribution for the 
offences of others, should firmly refuse to 
obtain it by any sacrifice of the dignity and 
rectitude of his own character. 
Timidity. Perhaps however Chaucer was influenced 
in his compliance with the importunities and 
threats of the administration, by a certain 
Degree of degree of timidity and irresolution. This is 

censure p /-. •, ■. 

due to a very common leature or human character; 

feet. and, though it must be confessed to be a ble- 
mish, is not destructive of the fundamental 
principles of a virtuous temper. Chaucer, it 
may be, was inaccessible to the attacks of 


eorruption ; he boasts very loudly, In the chap. l. 
performance we are considering, of his un- i389. 
impeachable integrity in the execution of his 
functions as a servant of the crown ^ He 
was not easily intimidated ; or induced, by 
calamity or fear, to turn aside from his course : 
he was for a considerable period faithful to 
his engagements with his associates, and, as 
he tells us, " conceled ther privitie lenger 
then he should ^" Such a man might be an 
excellent member of private and domestic 
society, a true patriot, and a genuine lover 
of mankind ; he might be a stranger to the 
selfish passions, and to that mutability which 
is so pernicious to the best purposes of life ; 
generous, tender, affectionate, warm-hearted 
and charitable. With such endowments, a 
man might have p^sed through life in twenty 
different stations, and not a speck of soil have 
fastened upon the whiteness of his actions; 
had not that single temptation occurred 
against which alone he was not proof, had 

' Book II, p. 502, col. 1. " Book I, p. 488, col. 1. 


cHAP.l. not misfortune maliciously conspired to direct 
1389. her attacks against the only imperfect and 
vulnerable point of his nature. 
Dumtionof In estimating the morality of Chaucer's 

Chaucer's . . . , . 

adversity, conduct on tliis occasion. It IS also mcum- 
bent upon us to take into the account the 
length of his misfortunes and his imprison- 
ment. From the documents and the reason- 
ings we have produced it seems clearly to 
follow, that his confinement in the Tower 
endured for no less a period than three years. 
He had perhaps been an exile for two years 
previously to his imprisonment. He had 
passed through an accumulation of evils ; 
starved for want of i^emittances abroad, an4 
reduced to sell the slender pittance which 
remained to him in. the form of a pension, for 
subsistence. He whose resolution holds out 
during five years of calamity and distress, is no 
fickle and effeminate character. If Chaucer, 
who had witnessed the anarchy of his coun- 
try, and the tragical scenes which were trans- 
acted almost in his presence, who had been 
reduced to barter his last resources for bread, 
and who saw an affectionate wife and a che- 


Tished offspring in danger to perish for want, ^^1^ 
felt at length subdued and willing to give up Uiip. 
somewhat of the sternness of his virtue, we 
may condemn him as moralists, but we cannot 
fail in some degree to sympathise with feelings 
"which make an essential part of our nature. 

One idea arises in this place, v/hich cannot chaarer 
fail to strike us as interesting and instructive, histoiiaa 

, ^ of his 

Chaucer tells us, that his conduct in this in- own 


stance involved him in a torrent of ill will,, ""■'"• 
and brought upon him the charge of being 
false,, lying, base and ungrateful. It was prin- 
cipally to defend himself against these charges, 
that he composed his elaborate performance 
of the Testament of Love. 

It is probable that the lapse of a single ge- 
neration would have blotted out from the 
ntemory of his countrymen these censures 
upon the father of English poetry. Who 
now appears as his accuser ? Chaucer : Chaur- 
cer only. We have no evidence but what we 
draw from this production, that he was ever 
concerned in the turmoils of^the city, that he 
was an exile, a prisoner in the Tower, and 
that he was finally led by resentment or by 


^^^^'- ^ terror to the dishonourable act of impeaching 
13.^9. his confederates. Little did the poet think, 
when he sat down to write this laborious 
apology for his conduct, that he was hereby 
perpetuating an imputation, which without 
his interference Time was preparing to blot 
out for ever from the records of memory, 
while his poetical compositions were destined 
to render him dear to the lovers of the muse 
as long as the English language shall endure. 
How feeble and erroneous are the calculations 
of the wisest of mankind ! 

But what is most extraordinary is, that 
the Testament of Love was not published 
under the immediate uneasiness and impa- 
tience of the moment, and did not receive 
the last hand of the author till several years 
' after. This is evident from Gower speaking 
of it as an unfinished work in the sixteenth 
year of Richard II, in some lines which we 
shall presently have occasion to quote. Chau- 
cer therefore did not enter the field against 
his censurers while the accusations to which 
he was exposed were yet in their vigour ; 
but brought forward his defence at a time 


when, as we may reasonably suppose, the chap.l. 
malignity of w^hich he complained had lost 1389. 
its venom, and he had been fully restored to 
his place in the community. 




CHAP. LI. John of Gaunt, as we have seen, sailed 

1386. for Spain in the month of May 1386. He 

^peditioroi took with him an army of twenty thousand 

Gaulit" men ; with sir Thomas Percy, afterward earl 

of Worcester, as admiral of his fleet, and sir 

John Holland as constable of his forces % 

^ Froissart, V&l. Ill, Chap. xxix. Knighton, ad ann. The 
number (20,000) is taken from Knighton ; who however, 
stating the army a few lines further in a different way, makes 
it to have consisted of 2,000 men at arms and 8,000 archers j 
a more probable computation. 


The king presented him, in a solemn audience chap, ll 
of leave, with a crown of gold, and the queen "issX" 
made a similar present to his consort ; and a 
proclamation was issued that every one should 
acknowledge them for king and queen of 
Spain. A considerable portion of the Castil- 
lians regarded the title of his consort, the 
legitimate heir to the throne of that kingdom, 
as sacred ; and he had been invited to the 
enterprise by John king of Portugal, whose 
dominions were laid claim to, and his capital 
besieged, by the reigning king of Castille, son 
to Henry of Transtamare. 

The military success of this enterprice was 
such as it was not difficult to have foreseen. 
John of Gaunt, having landed at Corunna in 
the month of August, gained some advantages, 

and took several towns. He married his eldest . 

daughter by the princess Blanche to his royal phiUppa of 
ally ^ But the progress he made v/as by no m-uS ^ 
means decisive j and he lost more by the un- Poangai. 
happy effects of the climate, than he had 

Froissartj Chap. x;txvuj xxxviii, xxxix. Knighton, ad ann. 


CHAP. LI. gained by the military prowess of himself 

1387. and his followers. He therefore found it ne- 

Gauntre. ccssary, in the autumn of the following year, 

tires into , .,-,-. , , _ 

Aquitaine. to retire with his forces into that part of the 
duchy of Aquitaine which was still possessed 
by the English \ 

Here a circumstance of p;ood' fortune at- 

1S88. . . f 

Treaty of tcudcd him, which served in some measure 

twe^nhim iq balauce the miscarriage of his expedition. 

peace be 
tween h 
and the 

reigning ^ ncgotiatlou was opened for the marriage of 
castiiie. ]^-g Q^ij daughter by his Spanish consort, with 
the duke of Berri one of the uncles of the 
king of France ; and John, the reigning mo- 
narch of Castiiie, hearing of the proposal, and 
being alarmed for the consequences which 
might arise from placing the claim to his crown 
in such hands, immediately resolved, by the 
most alluring overtures on his part, to defeat 
Catherine thc projCct ^ lu couclusion, thc princess was 
termai- married to Henry prince of Asturias, eldest 

lied to the , , . . . -111 

prince of SOU to tuc King lu posscssiou ; two hundred 


'^ Froissart, Chap. Ixxxvii, &c. 
^ Froissart, Chap, cxiiij cxxxiil. 

returns to 


thousand nobles were given to John of Gaunt chap, li. 
to indemnify him for the expences of his ex- 1388. 
pedition ^ ; and a pension of ten thousand 
pounds per annum was settled out of the reve- 
nues of Castille upon himself and his consort 
respectively ^ He returned to London in -- — - 
November 138Q, bringing with him, accord- John of 


ing to Knighton, forty-seven mules loaded 
with chests of gold ^ ; and it has been noticed 
among the effects of his enterprise, that he 
Succeeded on this occasion in entailing the 
crowns both of Portugal and Castille upon 

* Froissart_, Chap, cxxxviii. 

*'■ Walsingham^ A. D. 1389. Sixteen thousand marks upon 
John of Gaunt and twelve thousand upon his consort: Knigh- 
ton, ad ann. It is difficult to compute the value of John 
of Gaunt's acquisitions on this occasion. They are variously 
stated in the contemporary authors j and the writ in Rymer 
(Vol. VII, 12Ilic. 2, Aug. 26) by which the treaty is con- 
firmed, does not enter upon these particulars. The sums in 
the text would amount to a prompt payment of £. 1^200^000 
in modern money, and a pension of £. 360,000 j^er annum. But 
this seems to exceed belief. Knighton however says that John 
of Gaunt brought away with him only half the indemnifi- 
cation ; and the pensions were perhaps never paid. 
• Knighton, ad aqn. 


CHAP. LI the heads of his descendants. He of course 

i3«9. surrendered at this time his personal claims 
to the Spanish sovereignty. 

The return of John of Gaunt to his native 
country, after an absence of more than three 
years, was hailed with the warmest congra- 
tulations. The J-ing had already succeeded 
in putting an end to the usurpation of Thomas 
of Woodstock ; he was inclined to conduct 
himself with forbearance and moderation to- 
ward those who had so deeply offended him ; 
and the task was congenial to the dispositions 
of John of Gaunt, to reconcile the differences, 
and restore good understanding and kindness, 
between persons whose true interests were 
the same. The result of his return to his 
native country displayed itself in general har- 
Created mouy ; aud he was rewarded by Richard with 
-^cjuitainc. a grant of the fief of the duchy of Aquitaine 
in the same manner in which it had been 
enjoyed by his elder brother the Black 
Prince \ 

'' Rymer, 13 Ric. '2, Mar, 2. It has been stated on the 
authority of Froissart (Vol. IV, Cliap, Ixiv), that John of 


An absurd story has been introduced in 

this place, of John of Gaunt advancing a issp. 
demand in full parliament, that his eldest Lehnd 
son, afterward Henry IV, should be recog- 
nised as presumptive heir to the crown \ The 
true heir, in case of Richard dying without 
issue, was Roger Mortimer earl of March, 
eldest son of Philippa, the only daughter of 
Lionel duke of Clarence -, and he had accord- 
ingly been recognised in that character in the . 
year 1387^. John of Gaunt's proposal is 
referred to the year 13q6, It is extraor- 
dinary that such a tale should have been so 
often repeated/, and never have been refuted. 

Gaantj a few years after, again resigned the duchy of Aqui- 
taine into the handsof the king. (Collins, Life of John of 
Gaunt ; IQ Ric. 2.) Walsingham asserts the same thing. 
This however is not true. He is described by the titles of 
the late duke of Aquitaine and Lancaster^ in a patent of 
Richard 11^ dated a few weeks after his death. (The patent is 
recited in the Rolls, 1 Hen, 4, p. 1, m. 10.) 

' Leland, Collectanea, Tom. I, p. 383. 

^ Sandford, Book III, Chap. xiv. 

' See Sandford, Book IVp Chap, i, and Collin.'', Life of 
Gaujit, ad ann. 


CHAP. Li. An argument is by the historians put into the 
1389. mouth of John of Gaunt, founded upon the 
ambiguity of the surname of Crouchback, 
which had been given to Edmund earl of Lan- 
caster, brother to Edward I. The true mean- 
ing of this name refers to the cross worn on 
the backs of those who had taken the vow of 
pilgrimage or crusade to the Holy Land -, in 
the same manner as the inhabitants of a cer- 
tain monastery were called the Crutched, or 
Crossed, Friars ". The tale however repre- 
sents John of Gaunt as stating Edmund to be 
twin to his brother the king (though he was 
in reality nearly six years younger "), and 
adding that, his back having been broken in 
his infancy, he was set aside from the suc- 
cession, though the first born, and Edward L 
preferred before him. The story proceeds to 
say, that the earl of March replied to John 
of Gaunt, affirming that Edmund Crouchback 
was a most elegant figure, and a very valiant 

"* Stow, Survey of London : Aldgate Ward. 
" Matt. Paris, A. D, 1239, 1245. 


soldier, as might be seen in the chronicles.— chap. lf. 

... t : 

The earl of March was at this time lieutenant 1339. 

of Ireland, and appears not to have visited 
England for several years °. No pretence could 
be more disgraceful from the lips of John of 
Gaunt, than one which thus represented his 
ancestors for several generations as usurpers. 
If he had been a man of unlicensed ambitionj 
this could never have led him to contemplate 
with desire the idea of living a subject under 
the reign of his son : he was at this time only 
fifty-six years of age, and of a most robust 
constitution. But he had in reality devoted 
his life to loyalty and his country. His son 
had engaged, during the father's absence in 
Spain, in the cabals of Thomas of Wood- 
stock ; but John of Gaunt had been at all 
times the firmest supporter of the throne. In 
fact, the crafty and cold-hearted Henry IV, 
was assiduous in propagating this fable in the 
sequel ^' ; and was no doubt willing that it 

' Sandford, Book III, Chap. xiv. ? Cotton, I Hen. 4. 

VOL. IV, f 



^"^^^^- should be supposed to have the authority of 

i^5o. his generous and noble-minded father. 
ch;.uc.r ip- Chaucer, as we have seen, v^as in the sum- 

ponited ' 

voiks°^'^'-"^^^ of I38g appointed to the office of clerk 
of the works \ 1 his was a situation which 
may be supposed to have been in many re- 
spects more congenial to his temper, than his 
former employment of comptroller of the 
customs. Its duties related to the erection, 
repair and embellishment of the king's man- 
sions, parks and domains ; and, among the 
documents to be found in our records, illu- 
Empioycd stratiug the life of Chaucer, one is a com- 

in repair- 
ing St. mission addressed to him of the date of 


ciiapciat twelfth of July 13 go, for work to be done 
to St. George's chapel in the castle of Wind- 
sor '. He had the further advantage in this 
new appointment, of being entitled by pre- 
cedent and patent to the assistance of a 
deputy, for whom a salary was provided by 
the crown ; whereas, in his former office of 
comptroller of the customs, it had been usual, 

' Appendix; No. XXL "■ Appendix, No. XXII. 


as has appeared, to require the principal to chap. li. 
discharge his functions in person, and to keep "TSoT* 
the accounts of his place with his own hand. 
The salary of his present employment, as has 
beeii already mentioned % was two shillings 
per diem ; making an annual income of thirty- 
six pounds ten shillings, and equivalent, in 
denominations of modern money, to an in- 
come of six hundred and fifty- seven pounds. 

Chaucer does not appear to have possessed 

the appointment of clerk of the works longer Resigns*. 
than about twenty months. My researches 
have not enabled me to find the patent con- 
ferring the office upon his successor; but, 
without this direct evidence, I have disco- 
vered documents sufficient very nearly to fix 
the length of time for which he occupied this 
situation. The name of the person who was 
clerk of the works in the fifteenth and six- 
teenth years of Richard 11. is John Gedney ; 
and I find a record of this person appointing 
a deputy, of the date of 1 6 September isgi ^ 

' Chap. XXXVI, p. 505. * Pat. 15 Ric 2, p. 1, m. 24. 
F 2 ^ 


CHAP. LI. In the rolls of the preceding year of Ri- 
isyi, chard II, there is an instrument to the same 
purpose, by which Chaucer appoints a deputy, 
dated 22 January 1391\ It was therefore 
at some period in the interval between these 
dates that Chaucer retired to a private station. 
We have no information to guide us as to 
the cause of his retirement : and are therefore 
at lil:>erty to conjecture, either that the office 
was taken from him that it might be given to 
some more useful and consummate courtier ; 
or that, satiated with the hurry and turmoils 
of public life, he voluntarily determined, 
being "iiow sixty-three years age, to spend 
the short remainder of his life in the midst 
of that simplicity and solitude which he so 
ardently loved. 

Ketiies to There is a tradition which represents him 

Wood- ^ _ ^ ^ 

''"ck, as passing some of his last years at his hous^ 
at Woodstock ", which had been the favourite 
haunt of the most peaceful and prosperous 

" Pat. 14 Ric. 2, p. '2, m. 34. 
" Life; prefixed to Urry's Edition. 


period of his earlier existence ; and this sup- chap, li. 
position seems on the whole to be the most i3£>i. 
probable. His Conclusions of the Astrolabie, 
which carries in the body of the work the 
date of 12 March 1391'% is, as he says, 
" sufficient for oure orizont, compowned 
after the latitude of Oxenforde\" From 
•which words it seems to follow with some 
degree of evidence, that, as his son Lewis, to 
whom the performance is addressed, then re- 
sided at Oxford % so the work itself was 
written at no great distance from that city. 

It may be observed, by the way, that the 
precise date which Chaucer has assigned to 
his Conclusions of the Astrolabie, leads to an 
additional presumption of the warmth and 
tenderness of his paternal affections. He 
retired from public life in the course of this 
year ; we know that on the twenty-second of 
January he had not yet resigned his office of 
clerk of the works ; he seems therefore to have 

* p. 442, 443, Urry's Edition. 

* Conclusions of the Astrolabie, Introduction, 
y Vol. II, Chap. XVII, p. 9. 

•70 LIFE OF CHAUCER. "^sed his first leisure in composing these few 
pages for the instruction of his youngest boy. 

Visits 1 is We may figure him to ourselves as spending 

son a't a short time with the " littel Lowys" on 

his journey from London, conversing with 

him respecting his studies, and then pro- 

Conciusions ceeding* to Woodstock. Chaucer sat down in 

of the ^ ^ 

Astro- his rural habitation, perhaps the next morn- 
ing, to compose this little manual of astro- 
nomical rudiments, and dedicated the very 
first fruits of his privacy to the facilitating to 
this youth of ten years the acquisition of use-r 
ful and ornamental knowledge. 

Legendeof If wc arc corrcct in our conjecture, de- 
code Wo- ,. I'll 1 -1 

men. livcrcd m the last chapter, respectmg the 
occasion on which Chaucer produced his 
Legende of Gode Women, it was probably 
written in the year 1 3Q0. It was a tribute of 
gratitude to the Good Queen Anne, w^ho had 
obtained for him his liberty and the appoint- 
ment of clerk of the works. This appoint- 
ment he did not receive til] July 1389 : and 
the Legende will perhaps be confessed by a 
judicious reader to be too courtly a com- 
position to be likely to have been written 


at a distance of sixty miles from London, ^" 
by an old man who had renounced the cares, 1391. 
the ambition, and the artificial and interested 
forms, of the world. It is much more pro- 
bable that it was composed within perhaps an 
hundred yards of the residence of majesty, 
the Old Palace of Westminster. 

There is a strikina; conti-ast between the sentiments 

. ofChau- 

feelines with which Chaucer first entered into ^r at this 

^ period. 

possession of his house at Woodstock, and 
those with which he now returned to it. It 
was given him by Edward III, and the scenery 
contiguous to it is alluded to in some of his 
earliest poems. It was here that he com- 
menced the career of ambition. At an early 
age he was drawn from his academic retreats, 
or from the obscurity of a private station, and 
placed under the eye of royalty. He an- 
ticipated a gradation of affluence and dignity; 
and he was not disappointed. He watched 
the countenance of his sovereigns -, he cal- 
culated the means of rising to fortune ; and, 
if not a corrupt and a fawning courtier, we 
may at least believe that he was an enlight- 
ened and an assiduous one. He mingled the 
thoughts of a man looking onward to fortune. 


^"'^^- ^^- with the vivacity of an unv^orn frame, and 
1391- the sanguine hopes w^hich almost universally 
characterise the union of inexperience and 
talent. He v\randered in the country so as 
ftot to forget the town ; and he enjoyed the 
sylvan and the silent scene with the temper 
of a poet, not that of a hermit. 

He was not however long permitted to 
remain in retirement. He served in the 
armies of his country. He was employed in 
negotiations and embassies. Finally, he was 
fixed in the station of comptroller of the 
customs ; an appointment which he occupied 
for twelve years, from the forty-sixth to the 
fifty-eighth year of his age, and in which he 
was daily busied with cockets and dockets, 
and surrounded with " hurry, bustle and 
confusion on our quays, and sugar-casks, 
beer-butts ^' and common-councilmen in our 
streets %" It was not till 

^ Ale, i. e. some liquor prepared from corn, and qualified 
with a vegetable bitter, was one of the m.ost usual refreshments 
of the inhabitants of this island from the time of the Saxons, 
and is mentioned in their laws. See Wilkins, Leges Anglo- 
Saxonicse, p. 273. 

^ West-Indian, Act. 1, 


his labour all done was, char li. 

And he 'd made all his reckenynges, ""TaTlT* 


that he was free to return to his private abode, 
and to court the muse. From the circumstance 
of our finding a single grant of the sovereign, 
indulging him with one month's leave of ab- 
sence on urgent affairs, we may infer that he 
was almost perpetually immersed in business, 
and was in danger of forgetting the fair face 
of nature. 

At length, at the advanced age of sixty- 
three, he resigned his promotions, and bid 
an eternal adieu to courts and visits, to 
business and plans and superintendence and 
audiences. He thought it high time, having 
lived so much for the public and for fortune, 
to live a little for himself. He was desirous 
to expose himself no longer to the buffets 
and assaults of calamity. He had probably 
scarcely seen Woodstock for seventeen years. 
He began with refreshing his recollections, 
and revisiting his old acquaintances, the hills, 
and the streams and the vegetable shade. It 


CHAP. LI. is likely that he had planted trees with his 
1391, own hands: they had grown so as almost to 
baffle his recollection ; and that which he had 
last seen a twig, now demanded from him 
a sort of reverence, a vigorous and hardy tree. 
His house had scarcely been tenanted in his 
absence, and called forcibly for decoration 
and repair. Every thing reminded him of 
the silent and unnoticed progress of time. 

But, if all that he saw was altered, a still 
greater alteration had taken place in his own 
breast. He had quitted Woodstock, scarcely 
more than thirty, a bold and ardent adven- 
turer ; he returned to it with more than thirty 
years experience of all that the world can 
offer, to interest and to gratify, to dazzle and 
to mislead. Public and literary honours had 
been showered upon him ; adversity had 
assailed him with some of her fiercest attacks. 
He had left Woodstock, to force his way 
amidst the crowd of expectants ; he returned, 
to rest. He had left Woodstock with powers 
of the highest promise ; he returned, qualified 
to produce the Canterbury Tales. 

cante.kuy Jt is, not dlfficult to fix wlth some degree of 


precision the period of his entering upon this cHAPfLi, 
work. In the Legende of Gode Women 1393. 
Chaucer appears to have enumerated all his 
considerable performances then existing, but 
without any mention of this, his most ad^ 
mirable production. The Legende could not 
have been written previously to the year 1382, 
the epoch of the marriage of Richard II. to 
Anne of Bohemia, to whom that work is ad- 
dressed. It probably was not written till after 
the year I38g, when Chaucer had already 
obtained through her interposition his liberty, 
and the office of clerk of the works. In that 
case the Canterbury Tales could not have 
been begun sooner than the year 1390. 

This is the principal argument which offers 
itself, enabling us to fix the chronology of 
this performance. That the name of Jack 
Straw ^ occurs in the tale of the Cock and 
the Fox, and that the death of Bernabo 
Visconti duke of Milan % which happened 
in 1385, makes one in the series of tragic 

*• ver. 15400. See Tyrwhit, Discourse, note €• 
^ ver. 14709. See Tyrwhit, ad loc. 


CHAP. LI. events touched upon in that of the Monk^ 
1393. are indecisive circumstances. The Canterbury- 
Tales was the work of years, and was never 
completed. The number intended seems to 
have been sixty ; but in Mr. Tyrwhit's edi- 
tion, whose reasonings upon the genuineness 
of the tales are entitled to our commendation, 
there are only twenty-four. There might 
have occurred in the collection allusions to 
the deposition of Richard II. and the accession 
of Henry IV ; and this would have furnished 
no argument as to the period at which the 
work was undertaken. 

Models after Collectious of talcs were a favourite species 

which they *■ 

were of amusement in this age. On the revival of 

formed. "-' 

literature, v/hen the very elements of ancient 
history were nearly forgotten, it was natural 
that the inquisitive should be desirous of pos- 
sessing in a small compass an assemblage of 
some of its most memorable or interesting 
passages. This desire gave birth to the com- 
pilations of Simeon Seth, of Piers Alfonse, 
and the Gesfa Romanorum^ , These however. 

Vol. I, Chap. II, p. 25. 


and the other collections whether of historical chap. li. 


or fictitious narratives which succeeded them, 1393. 
consisted of parts wholly unconnected with 
each other. Boccaccio is understood to have 
been the first who endeavoured to reduce a 
compilation of this sort into a dramatical form, n d 
by putting his different tales into the mouths 
of imaginary persons, and assigning a par* 
ticular event as exciting them to seek amuse- 
ment in this way. His persons are individuals 
of some rank and education, who had with- 
drawn to a rural retreat, for the purpose of 
escaping the plague of Florence in 1348. 
Mr. Tyrwhit has truly observed % that the 
plan of Boccaccio, however it might be an 
improvement upon the writings of his pre- 
decessors, has, beside other disadvantages, that 
of being indefinite, the number of ten days, 
allotted for the retreat of the parties, being 
merely arbitrary ; and that the characters of 
the personages are so little discriminated, as to 
afford small scope for that variety and contrast 

Discourse, note 2. 


CHAP. LI. which are essential to a composition approach-^ 

1393. ing to the dramatical form. 
DeCon- The De Cojifesmne Amantls of Gower is, 


Araantis. JiJj^e the principal production of Chaucer, a 
collection of tales ; but whether he or Chaucer 
had the precedence in entering upon this spe- 
cies of undertaking has been considered as a 
matter of doubt. Gower is more careful than 
Chaucer in assigning the chronology of his 
work, and has mentioned the sixteenth year 
of Richard II. as the period of its publication^ 
His performance contains no allusion to the 
Canterbury Tales, though it mentions their 
author with commendation ; while Chaucer 
is supposed, with considerable appearance of 
reason, to have designed an attack upon 
Gow^er in his Prologue to the Man of Lawes 
Tale \ It is just therefore to assign the pri- 
ority to the J^e Cojifesnom Amantis, The 

^ See Vol. 11^ Chap. XVII, p. 32, The allusion to Gower's 
De Coiifcsaione Amantis ought to have been stated by Mr. 
Tyrwhit as a feature of later chronology in the Canterbury 
Tales, than either Jack Straw's rebellion^ or the death ef 
Bernabo duke of Milan. 


plan of Gower's work is the confession of a chap, li. 
lover to a priest of Venus, who addresses to 1393. 
him in return many exhortations and in- 
structions, illustrated and inforced by a variety 
of narratives. This is certainly no improve- 
ment, in point of dramatic excellence, upon 
the outline of Boccaccio. Gower however, 
is entitled to the praise of having led the way 
to Chaucer in the idea of comprising a series 
of tales in a metrical volume. It surely is 
to be considered as no mean age either in 
literature or poetry, which produced, nearly 
at the same time, such poems as Gower's 
Florent and Apollynus of Tyre, and a col- 
lection of such various, and in many respects 
such exquisite, merit, as Chaucer's Canterbury 
Tales ; not to mention the performance of 
Langland which has lately engaged our at- 

From these circumstances then it appears Breach be. 


that Chaucer had resided at least two years in cbmcer 

^ and 

his retirement at Woodstock before he began ^°^'''* 
the Canterbury Tales. He was inflamed with 
emulation at reading the De Confessione Aman- 


CHAP. LI. tis. What was the cause of the misunder- 

1393. standing which took place between him and 
Gpwer, it is difficult for us to discover. Gower 
was especially protected by Thomas of Wood- 
stock ; and Chaucer, as we have seen, suffered 
greatly from the animosity and persecutions 
of that nobleman. This however was not the 
express ground of their difference ; for it was 
after this that Gower complimented Chaucer 
upon his Testament of Love. The com- 
pliment of Gower proves indeed the kindness 
of only one of the parties ; it enables us how-? 
ever to infer the kindness of the other. The 
manner in which Gower mentions the Tes- 
tament of Love is fortunately such as to 
evince that, in the sixteenth year of Ri- 
chard II, the sketch only, and certain pas- 
sages, of the work existed ; and consequently 
that it had been communicated only to par- 
ticular friends, of whom it follows that Gower 
at the time in which it was written was one. 
This is evident from the style of prospect and 
prophecy in which Venus is introduced by 
Gower, speaking of the work ; 


And grete well Chaucer— ckap. li. 

^ Forthy, nowe in his day6s old, "Ti^JT" 

Thou shall hym tell6 this message, 

That he, upon his latter age. 

To sette an ende of all his werke 

(As he whiche is myn owne clerke), 

Do make his Testament of Love, 

As thou hast done thy ^ Shryfte above. 

Book VII, fol. 190, verso. 

But, though it may be inferred from this gowm 
extract, that Gower and Chaucer were still chaucet 
friends when Chaucer was a prisoner, and *"^"""'* 
that his illustrious brother-poet was one of 
Chaucer's visitors and confidential friends in 
his confinement, it does not follow that they 
were not now on the eve of the unhappy ani- 
mosity which afterward took place between 
them. It would seem rather that Chaucer at 
first received the visits of his old friend with 
pleasure, and felt his spirits exhilarated with 
his kindness. Knowing his connection with 
the great man in power, he assiduously cui- 

« Therefore, * Confession, Confessio, 

VOL. IV. e 


CHAP LI. tivated his intercourse, opened to him all his 

1393. feelings, and communicated to him his first 

Chaucer su- rudc sketches of composition. But, when he 

spects him ^ 

ofdupii- sa-vy that no alleviation to his misfortunes 


flowed from the professed attachment of 
Gower, that no termination to his confine- 
ment opened upon him, and that after a lapse 
of two years he was permitted to sell his pen- 
sions for bread, Chaucer then began to view 
his illustrious friend with distrust. It may be 
that Gower was blameless, and that Chaucer's 
obtaining no remission was imputable only 
to the rigid temper of Woodstock ; but we 
cannot wonder that Chaucer was slow to 
enter into this idea. No absolute breach took 
place for the present between the poets, but 
the idea of Gower as a specious and fair- 
spoken hypocrite took deep root in Chaucer's 
Is instigated Thls bciug the state of things, it is obvious 
mentto to coucelve wlth what feelings Chaucer re- 
the Can- ccivcd Gowcr s capital work, the De Con^ 


Taies. f ess tone Amantis, In another frame of mind 
he would have rejoiced in it, as an effort of 
generous emulation. But, poisoned as his 


feelings were toward Gower, he viewed it as 
a new act of animosity. Gower, who had 1393. 
hitherto written only in Latin and French, 
appeared in his eyes, not contented with 
treacherously betraying the man that loved 
him, as now taking up the pen in English 
v^ith the base purpose of annihilating his 
literary fame. It seems therefore to have 
been resentment and indignation that first in- 
spired Chaucer at an advanced age with the 
admirable project of his Canterbury Tales. 

There is one remark which suggests itself 
upon this very probable history of the mis- 
understanding between Chaucer and Cower. 
If Chaucer conceived an unfavourable idea of 
his friend at the time when that friend's patron 
was all-powerful and he was himself a pri- 
soner in the Tower, at least he did not then 
give vent to his suspicions and his resentment. 
Gower seems so little to have considered 
Chaucer as his enemy, as to have been in- 
duced several years afterward to introduce 
into his De Confessione Amantis 3. compliment 
to him, in a strain which would seem to us to 

G 2 


CHAP. LI. imply the slncerest friendship. Chaucer how- 
1393. £ver regarded the eulogium as a masked ho- 
stility ; he was irritated to find the man, who, 
he thought, had deserted him in adversity, 
and was now desirous to rob him of his w^ell- 
earned fame, putting on the semblance of 
attachment and kindness ; and he resolved 
to show Gower that, if he were " in his 
dayes olde," and " upon his latter age," 
yet he would not, in publishing his Tes- 
tament of Love, " sette an ende of all his 

Anecdote of The breach between Chaucer and Gower 
spear. has 2L resemblauce to that between Shakespear 
and Jonson, two of the most eminent Eng- 
lish geniuses of the sixteenth century. Jonson 
was a man of a morose and suspicious temper, 
and appears to have had frequent altercations 
with the players, of whom Shakespear was 
one, probably respecting the performance of 
his plays. Shakespear, who had had the op- 
portunity of doing a very early kindness to 
his brother-bard, in procuring the represent- 
ation of his first production, which had pre- 


viously been rejected % and who appears after- 
ward to have cultivated his friendship, seems 1393. 
at length to have taken up the quarrel of the 
performers. He is supposed to have had in 
his thoughts the corpulence and intemperance 
of Jonson in his Merry Wives of Windsor, 
and even to have borrowed in some degree 
the incident of the buck-basket in that play 
from a circumstance which really happened 
to his contemporary K It is thus that Jonson 

' Life of Shakespear by Rowe, Malone, Chronology of 
Shakespear's Plays, $.18, decides that the piece in question 
was Every Man in his Humour. 

^ Steevens, Note upon the Merry Wives of Windsor, Act 
III, Scene iii, 1778. A friend has suggested to me, that this 
conjecture could not be true, on account of the irreconcilable- 
ness of the disgrace which Jonson is said to have sustained, 
to just chronology : the son of sir Walter Raleigh, whose tutor 
Jonson is represented to have been, and who is said to have put 
the trick upon him, not having been old enough at that time for 
the part he is made to sustain in the transaction. But to this 
it may be answered, that, if the name of the pupil be erro- 
neous, that does not invalidate the whole story. Nothing is 
more usual In affairs of this sort, than a change of names, and 
the substitution of a celebrated person in the room of an obscure 
one. The authority upon which the Incident rests is by no 
xneans con^mptible j it is extracted by Oldys, an antiquariajSi 


CHAP. LI. expresses himself on the subject, in a copy 
1393,, of verses written after the exhibition of this 

Now, for the players, it is true, I tax"d 
And yet but some ; and those so sparingly. 
As all the rest might have sat still, unques- 

. What th' have done 'gainst me 

I am not mov'd with. If it gave 'em ineat. 
Or got 'em cloths, 'tis well : that was their 

Only amongst them, I am sorry for 
Some better natures, by the rest so drawn. 
To run in that vile line K 

But, whatever were the original merits of this 

of high character, from the note-book of Mr. Oldisworth secre- 
tary to Philip earl of Pembroke, who was nearly a contemporary 
of the parties. Add to which, the harmony of dates between 
the offence and the resentment ; the play of the Merry Wives 
of Windsor being entered upon the Stationers' Books for 
January iGOl, and the Poetaster having been first acted in the 
course of that year. 

^ Apology annexed to the Poetaster, 


unhappy breach, it partook, in the sequel, of chap. l[. 
the usual fate of things of this nature, and, i3<)3, 
once made, was still aggravated with new 
hostilities. Jonson, in his Poetaster, his Bar- 
thoIomexv-Fair, and his Staple of News, writ- 
ten after their estrangement, has repeatedly 
attacked Shakespear ; and Shakespear, on the 
other hand, who in his will bestows legacies 
upon many of histoid connections, bequeaths 
no remembrance to Jonson. It was not till 
the great interpreter of nature was laid among 
the dead, that the generous feelings of the 
learned dramatist revived, and he did liberal 
justice to his competitor in his Discoveries, 
and in the Commendatory Verses prefixed 
to the folio edition of Shakespear's Works. 

It is singular, and in some degree worthy 
of our reflection, that, in both these quarrels, 
that of Chaucer, and that of Shakespear, it 
was the more excellent of the two parties, so 
far as the particulars of the misunderstand- 
ings can now be traced, that must be called 
the aggressor. 

The Orlando Furioso of the greatest poet canterbury 


of modern Italy is, like Chaucer's principal compared 


CHAP. LI. work, a tissue of independent stories, artiE- 
3393. cially connected. It has greatly the advantage 
Orlando of thc Cantcrburv Tales in point of lan- 

Furioso. ^ -_. - . 

guage : the style being pure, unaffected, spi- 
rited and harmonious ; and the Italian tongue 
having received perhaps no essential improve- 
ment since the time of Ariosto. This renders 
his admired production, in the strict sense of 
the term, a classic. But, v^^hatever be the 
merit of the Italian poem either in ornament 
or execution, it falls far short of the English 
in the skilful adoption of a plan. Ariosto's 
independent heroes distract the attention, and 
painfully divide the interest ; and his mode of 
successively breaking one story in the middle, 
to take up the thread of another, v^dll always 
render the first reading of his work, which 
ought to be the most delightful, a species of 
task. And, as to the question of language, if 
a modern and polished speech have its ad- 
vantage with the multitude of readers, an 
antiquated tongue, with its strong associations 
of memory, its venerable air, and an old-age 
affording it the charms of rareness and no- 
velty, will always possess a peculiar interest 


with readers of the highest cultivation and chap. li. 

taste. 1393. 

The Canterbury Tales, like those of Boc- Plan of th. 


caccio, are connected by being put into the ance. 
mouths of a number of imaginary relaters, 
who rehearse them in turn for their common 
amusement. But Chaucer has fortunately 
chosen a characteristic occasion for assem- 
bling his personages. A plague, like that of 
Florence in i 348, is a mere casualty, which 
might have occurred in almost any country or 
any age ; it has no relation to manners : while 
Chaucer's pilgrims, collected in the metro- 
polis, and proceeding toward the shrine of 
St. Thomas of Becket, immediately carry us 
back, in their figure, their tempers, their 
pursuits and their sentiments, to the remoter 
period in which the work was written. The 
personages also of the English poet are skil- 
fully varied ; they are not m.ere gentlemen 
and ladies, like those of the Decamerone. 
His thirty pilgrims are a medley of persons 
such as we should naturally suppose collected 
together for the object they have in view. 


CHAP. LI. and who had probably for their principle of 
i3e)3. association no other motive, than that, by. 
being thus formed into a caravan, they might 
be more secure against that species of attack 
so much to be apprehended in rude and un- 
settled times. Chaucer, having drawn his 
persons from so various classes of society, 
has presented us with a very copious picture 
of the manners then prevailing in England j 
and, as some of them are honourable, proud 
cr severe, and others prone to broad humour 
and buffoonery, he is furnished with a natural 
opportunity for exhibiting a great variety of 
talent. His knight entertains us with a 
splendid tale of chivalry ; his monk takes 
occasion to display his various reading ; his 
prioresse is superstitious ; his persone moral ; 
and his man of lawe and his doctour of 
physike grave, specious and demure. If he 
is inclined to relieve the monotony of his 
performance by introducing tales of a broader 
vein, he is not obliged, like Boccaccio, against 
every principle of the dramatic art, to put 
them into the mouths of the sober and the 


decent, but has at hand his miller, his reve c^hap^ 
and his shipman, from whom we should v^go. 
naturally expect discourse of a rougher cast. 

A painful incident arises in this part of the ^ 

Story. Chaucer had not been more than chaucer* 
twelve months engaged in composing his uinsa 
Canterbury Tales, when he found it neces- 
sary to apply to the crown for some increase 
to his resources ; a sure proof that, whatever 
other benefits he might have derived from his 
public employments, he had not made them 
the means of accumulating an independent 
fortune. It is probable, considering the ve- 
neration in which learning and talents were 
at this time held, and recollecting the temper 
and conduct of Petrarca and Chaucer's other 
literary contemporaries on the continent, that 
the English poet also rather claimed this pro- 
vision as his due, than sued for it in the tone 
of a suppliant. If we could find a petition 
presented by him on this occasion, it is likely 
that we should see him describing the long 
and faithful services he had rendered to the 
crown, his unmerited misfortunes, his ad- 
vanced age, and the gigantic undertaking in 


CHAP. LI. which, In spite of both, he was now engaged, 
1394. and respecting which he perhaps, soberly, not 
arrogantly, expressed a hope, that it might do 
credit to the patronage of his king, and place 
the literature of his country upon a level with 
that of the most fortunate of the surrounding 
nations. The result was that the king granted 
him, on the last day of February 13g4, a 
pension of twenty (in modern money three 
hundred and sixty) pounds per annum for the 
remainder of his life \ 

» Appendix^No. XXIII. 




JL HERE is another spot of English ground, chap.lh. 
beside Woodstock, v^hich has been consecrated Evidences 
to readers of taste and imagination, by a tra- chaucer 
ditionary connection with the name of Chau- at doh- 
cer. This is Donnington-Castle near New- 
bury in the county of Berks. That the argu- 
ment in support of this connection may be 
placed in its true light, we will review the 
authorities upon which it rests, in chronolo- 
gical order. 

The oldest of our English antiquaries is Leisud. 
Leland, who wrote in the reign of Henry VIII. 


cHAP.Lii. Though in his account of the Hfe of Chaucer 
" he does not mention Donnington, he may 
fairly be considered as referring jointly to 
Woodstock and to this place, when he says 
that " there are certain reasons which incline 
him to believe that the poet was a native 
either of the county of Oxford, or of that 
of Berks \" 

Camden. Camdcu is a writer of the reign of Eliza- 
beth. Speaking of Donnington, he says, " It 
is a small but elegant castle, situated upon the 
brow of a well-wooded hill, having an agree- 
able prospect, and being very light with win- 
dows on all sides. It is said to have been 
built by sir Richard Adderbury [Abberbury] 
knight, who likewise founded beneath it an 
hospital for the poor, called a God's House : 
it was afterward a dwelling of Chaucer, and 
then of the De la Poles ; and in our fathers' 
memory came into the hands of Charles 
Brandon duke of Suffolk \'' 

^ Scrlptores Britannlci, Cap. DV. 
'' Britannia : Attrebatii, Barkshirc, 


Speght, a contemporary of Camden, but chap.lil 
who wrote after him, quotes the above pas- "sp^u 
sage In part, and then adds, " Donnington 
Castle standeth in a parke in Barkshire not 
far from Newbery, where to this day standeth 
an olde oke called Chancers Oke ^" 

Evelyn, the author of a work of con- Kvdj-s. 
siderable reputation, called Sylva, or a Dis- 
course of Forest-Trees, published in the year 
1 604, has the following interesting detail, in 
that part of his work which relates to the oak, 
" Nor are we to over-pass those memorable 
trees which so lately flourished in Benning- 
ton Park neer Newberry : amongst which 
three were most remarkable from the inge- 
nious planter, and dedicator (if tradition hold), 
the famous English bard, Jeofry Chaucer, of 
which one was called the Kings, another the 
Queens, and a third Chaucers~Oak. The 
first of these was fifty foot in height before 
any bough or knot appeared, and cut five 
foot square at the butt end, all clear timber. 

Speght- Life of Chaucer ; his diildren. 


cHAP.LiL The Queens was felled since the wars, and 
held forty foot excellent timbeir, straight as 
an arrow in growth and grain, and cutting 
four foot at the stub, and neer a yard at the 
top ; besides a fork of almost ten foot clear 
timber above the shaft, which was crowned 
with a shady tuft of boughs, amongst which, 
some were on each side curved like rams- 
horns, as if they had been so industriously 
bent by hand. This oak was of a kind so 
excellent, cutting a grain clear as any clap- 
board ^ (as appeared in the wainscot which 
was made thereof), that a thousand pities it 
is some seminary of the acorns had not been 
propagated, to preserve the species. Chancers 
Oak, though it were not of these dimensions, 
yet was it a very goodly tree %'* 
Asbmoie. Ashmole, an antiquary of the same age 
with the author last quoted, says of Don- 
nington-Castle, that it " was erected by sir 
Richard de Adderbury ; and, in process of 

* The wood which is used for constructing casks^ so called. 

• Chap. XXIX; §. 12. 


time, became the seat of sir Geoffry Chau- chapui. 
cer, the prince of English poetry, who com- " ~~" 
posed many of his celebrated pieces under an 
oak in the park V* 

The author of the Life of Chaucer, pre- Life pre- 

fixed to 

fixed to Urry's edition of his works, repeats uny's'' 
the information of Camden, Evelyn and Ash- chauccr. 
mole, and then adds, " In this pleasant re- 
tirement Chaucer spent the few last years 
of his life, living in honour, and esteemed 
by all, famous for his learning, not only in 
England, but in foreign countries." 

Lastly, Mr. Grose, the author of the An- Grose. 
tiquities of England and Wales °, collected in 
the present reign, has added to our inform- 
ation these circumstances ; that Donnington 
was purchased by " Walter Abberbury from 
Edward IL for one hundred shillings ; that 
sir Richard Abberbury obtained a licence to 
rebuild the castle towards the latter part of 
the reign of Richard II ; that Chaucer pur- 
chased it of the son of sir Richard ; and that 

^ Antiquities of Berkshire, Vol. II, ' VoL I. 



cHAp.Lii. he retired hither about the year 1307." In 
the beginning of this enumeration Mr. Grose 
quotes a manuscript in the Cotton hbrary as 
his authority ; but, as he has failed to specify 
the manuscript, or to mention how many of 
his facts are drawn from it, it is impossible 
for us exactly to decide what degree of credit 
is due to his statement. 

Objections. Qn the whole, we should conceive there to 
be a chain of evidence in the above detail, 
such as might well authorise a fixed opinion 
that Chaucer actually inhabited the castle at 
Donnington. TTiere are however some par- 
ticulars, which to a certain degree weaken this 

from records jyj- Qj^qqq mcutions that sir Richard Ab- 


propdetor! bcrbury obtained a licence to rebuild the castle 
toward the latter part of the reign of Ri- 
chard II ^ What faith ought to be given to 
this assertion I am unable to pronounce. 
There is however a patent from that prince 

•" Leland also represents sir R, Abberbury as the founder of 
the castle of Donnington, Itinerary, Vol, III^ fol. 96. 


to sir Richard, dated 26 April isgs, per-cHAP.Lii. 
mitting him to build and endow the hospital ' ' 

already mentioned \ He also founded in the 
same year, and near the same spot, a monas- 
tery of Trinitarian Friars ^ We do not know 
when the founder of these establishments 
died : but their erection, or, still more, the 
rebuilding of the castle, are not circumstances 
which we should expect immediately to pre- 
cede the alienation of the domain. Mr. 
Tyrwhit ^ is the first person who has applied 
the patent of ISgS to the illustration of the 
life of Chaucer. It was therefore perhaps 
from some other and distinct consideration 
that the writer of the life in Urry's edition 
and Mr. Grose were induced to consider 
Chaucer as spending only the few last years 
of his life in this retirement. 

The circumstances of Chaucer himself and from 


might also be considered as rendering it pecuniary 


somewhat improbable that he made such an stances. 

' Monasticon Anglicanum, Vol. II, p. 474. 
^ Tanner, Notitia Monastica : Berkshire, VII, 1. 
' Preface, Appendix C, note 1. 
H 2 


cHAP.LiT. acquisition toward the close of his Ufe. Many 
arguments forbid us to believe that he retired 
from public life with an opulent fortune. 
While a prisoner in the Tower, he complains 
that his " w^orldly godes w^ere fuUiche dis- 
pente." In isgi he ceased to be a place- 
man. In 1394 he obtained a new pension 
of twenty pounds per annum ; a strong pre- 
sumption that he was not at this period much 
at ease in his fortune. 

chaucerdid Mr. Grosc has justly remarked that, if 
the oaks at Chaucer purchased Donnington in 1397, he 

Donning- i«ii ir* 

could not have studied under an oak of 
his own planting in that place." This how- 
ever affords no material objection to the 
notion of his having possessed the estate. 
The circumstances related by Evelyn re- 
specting the oaks, clearly prove that they did 
not receive their names, till their character 
and dimensions were determined. Chaucer, 
though a poet, we may believe was not 
enough of a prophet to enable him in the 
acorn to pay so courtly a compliment, and 
- to contrive that the King's Oak should be 
larger than the Queen's, and the Queen's 


larger than his- own. He found them on the chap.lii. 
estate, and gave them such names as pleased ~" 

him. This too best agrees with the scientific 
remark of Evelyn "", that the time from 
Chaucer to the civil wars of Charles I. seems 
too short for the oaks to have attained the 
dimensions he describes. Add to which, 
Speght, in the reign of Elizabeth, says that 
Chaucer's Oak was at that time an old tree. 

In conclusion, the chain of direct evidence inference. 
seems too strong to be overthrown by such 
presumptions, from the building of sir Ri- 
chard Abberbury, or the circumstances of 
Chaucer, as have been opposed to it. We 
may therefore on the whole indulge our ve- 
neration for Donnington Castle, and walk 
among its ruins tracing the footsteps of the 
poet, without danger of subjecting ourselves 
to the empire of a delusion. 

The little narrative of Evelyn, taken in 
this point of view, is exceedingly agreeable. 
We rejoice to find that the oaks which 

ubi supra. 


CHAP.Lii. Chaucer loved, and upon which he bestowed 
naities, vv^ere among the most admirable of 
their species. The wainscot with a " grain 
as clear as any clap-board," that was made 
from them, was pleasing to our ancestors to 
view, and maj be pleasing to us to remember. 
The man of taste, as well as the naturalist, 
will join with Evelyn, in wishing that a 
" seminary of these acorns had been propa- 
gated." The story too illustrates the cha- 
racter of Chaucer, and coincides with every 
thing we knovv^ of the excellence of his dis- 
position. ' When he retired from courts and 
cities, it was not in the temper of a misan- 
thrope. When he reclined at seventy years 
of age under the shadow of his own oaks, 
he still called to mind with delight the kind 
and honourable interposition of the queen " in 

" The queen to whom this oak was dedicated was probably 
Anne of Bohemia^ who died on the seventh of June 1394, 
(Walsingham, adann.), but who left behind her a character in- 
expressibly dear both to the king and the nation : Chaucer may 
be supposed to have consecrated this tree to her memor}\ 
Richard II. was again contracted in marriage, October 1396, 
to Isabella, daughter of Charles yi. king of Francej who was 
at that time in tlie eighth year of her age. 


his behalf, and the placability of his sove- chap.lii, 
reign. It follows that he was happy, and 
descended into the vale of years with cheerful 
feelings, and a mind that willingly called 
back to recollection past scenes and the con- 
nections in which he had formerly been 

The coincidence is worthy of our attention — 

... 1394. 

between Chaucer's acquisition of Donning- Death of 

^ Constance 

ton, and the third marriaee of his patron, the second du. 

' or? chess of 

duke of Aquitaine. In July 13g4 the Spanish Lancaster. 
consort of John of Gaunt departed this life °. 
We have already seen that this prince had 
been now for nearly twenty years on terms 
of the most intimate connection with Cathe- 
rine lady Swinford, the sister of Chaucer's 
wife. This lady had borne him three sons, 
afterward known by the titles of the earl of ,. 
Somerset, cardinal Beaufort, and the duke of 
Exeter ; from the eldest of whom were lineally 
descended the princes of the house of Tudor, 
and all the sovereigns who from the close of 

Walsingham and Knighton, ad ann. 


cHAPLii. the fifteenth century have swayed the sceptre 

139-i. of England. 

— John of Gaunt, whose mind was instinct 

John of" with the domestic and social affections, had 

marries notlilng uow morc nearly at heart, than the 

fhe sister 

cf chaa- desire of making; a respectable establishment. 

cer's wife. 


and providing in the most effectual manner, 
for this doubtful branch of his personal re- 
lations. A familiarity of twenty years had 
not abated his esteem and affection for the 
mother ; and the children, who afterward 
made a considerable figure in the history of 
their country, may be supposed to have daily 
unfolded more of those qualities which might 
give them a strong and irresistible claim upon 
their father's providence and care. Accord- 
ingly, in January 130 6, he publicly espoused 
Catherine Swinford the mother ^ ; and in the 
following year obtained an act of parliament 
legitimating by name the children she had 
borne him previously to this solemnity ''. In 

P Stow and Collins, ad ann. 

'i Cotton, 20 R. 2. Pari. History, ad ann. 


tKe same year John, the eldest, was created chap.lii. 
earl of Somerset % and in the next Henry, 1397. 
the second, was elected bishop of Lincoln '. 

Having thus paid the homage he thought Favours be- 
due to the woman to whom he had so long him upon 

the family 

been attached, and laid a foundation for the ofchau. 


Splendid fortune of her oiispring, the duke 
of Aquitaine looked a little further. He had 
taken to wife a person of a rank inferior to 
his own, and he now resolved, with that mag- 
nificence of proceeding which was congenial 
to his habits, that no one who was related to 
her should be left in a situation which might 
be thought disproportioned to the alliance she 
had contracted. Of the history of Thomas 
Swinford, her only son by her former hus- 
band, nothing is known. Probably the only 
other relations she had in England were the 
family of Chaucer. To them therefore John 
of Gaunt, who had so long patronised the 

*■ Ditto. From the Parliamentary History It appears, that 
the earl of Somerset received at the same time a pen&ion of 
£. QOper (itmum, as the appendage of his title. 

' Godwin : Episc, Lincoln, cap. xix. 


cHAP.Lii. poet, resolved still further to extend his pro- 
23^7^ tection and munificence. The brother-in-law 
of Catherine Swinford, though he had passed 
through several public employments, was still, 
it may be, according to the ideas of the 
times, a plebeian. The duke of Aquitaine 
determined, in the ieudal sense, to ennoble 
him 5 that is, to make him the proprietor of 
a domain which should constitute him a tenant 
in chief of the crown. For this purpose he 
purchased and bestovs^ed upon Chaucer the 
estate of Donnington Castle. Nor was this 
a gift unworthy of the first prince of the 
blood to bestow upon a person so nearly 
allied to him. The mansion had lately been 
rebuilt, was elegant, cheerful, and agreeably 
situated. It was afterward reckoned among 
the more considerable possessions of the De 
la Poles dukes of SufFolka and in the sequel 
was thought vf orthy to be bestowed by Henry 
VIII. as a residence for his brother-in-law. 
The coincidence of time renders it highly 
probable that this was the mode in which 
Chaucer came into possession of Donnington. 
Mr. Grose says that " he retired hither about 


1397," the very year in which the children chapxit 
of John of Gaunt by Catherine Swinford i3i(7. 
were legitimated ; and several circumstances, 
already mentioned, show that Mr. Grose's 
date is nearly right. 

Other particulars may be added, strongly 
tending to confirm this hypothesis. On the 
twentieth of March ISQq, a few weeks after 
the death of John of Gaunt, Richard II, 
granted to Thomas Chaucer a pension for 
life, in lieu of certain offices which had been 
bestowed upon him by the deceased prince, 
but which Richard had now transferred to his 
favourite minister, the earl of Wiltshire ^ 
This grant was confirmed by Henry IV. on 
his accession " ; who also bestowed upon 
Thomas Chaucer the offices of constable of 
Wailingford Castle ", sheriff of Oxfordshire 
for life % and chief butler to the houshold \ 

* This grant Is recited, Pat. 1 Hen. 4, p. 1, m. 10. 

" Pat. 1 Hen. 4, ut supra. * Records^ apud Speght. 

'^ The author of the Life of Chaucer prefixed to Urry's 
Edition, represents Thomas Chaucer as having been "first ap- 
pointed to the office of chief butler in the tv/enty-second year 


cHAP.Lii. It can therefore scarcely be doubted that the 
1397. duke of Aquitaine acted on the principle of 
making the fortune of his wife's relations, and 
that Henry IV, his eldest son, prosecuted the 
same plan. It is in the second year of this 
prince that we find Thomas Chaucer first 
elected to the office of speaker of the house 
of commons. His talents, we may suppose, 
perfectly qualified him for this situation ; but 
it seems nearly certain that he was originally 
indebted for it to this marriage, by which he 
was brought into so near an alliance to the 
race of his sovereigns. 

of Richard II. I believe this is not true; though I have 
not thought it a question of sufficient importance, to require 
the looking through the patents of successive years to ascertain 
when he first obtained the office. The Calendarhnn liofuhrum 
Tatentmm, lately published by authority of parliament (a most 
imperfect and wretched performance), ascribes It to the fourth 
year of Henry IV; .and I find one John Payn (Pat. 1 Hen. 4i 
p. 1, m. 27) nominated to this em})loyment en the thirtieth 
of September 1399, that is, on the very day of the accession 
of that monarch. It is not probable that, if Richard had be- 
stowed the employment upon Thomas Chaucer, Henry would 
have made it one of the tlrst acts of hii reign to deprive him 
of it. 


One of the most curious particulars in the chap.lil 
concluding part of the history of the life of 1398. 
Chaucer is a patent of protection granted him cdvera"" 
by Richard II, of the date of the twelfth of protection 
May 13g8 ^ It has been supposed that this crown. 
grant was made in reference to some em- 
barrassment in the circumstances of the poet. 
There is however nothing in the terms of 
the patent, which necessarily leads to this 
construction. It is stated in the preamble 
that the king had ordained Chaucer to per- 
form and expedite many arduous and urgent 
affairs of the crown, as well in presence as 
absence of the king, in various parts of the 
kingdom. The instrument then goes on to 
state Chaucer as apprehensive lest, in dis- 
charging the employments which the king 
has been pleased to impose upon him, he 
should be interrupted, molested, or implead- 
ed, by certain persons, not named in the in- 
strument, his competitors, by means of Vari- 
ous quarrels and factions which they might 

Appendix, No. XXIV. 

no Life OF CHAUCER, 

cHAP.ui. excite against him. The king, in consequence 
13P8. of Chaucer's representations in this point, 
has thought proper to take him, his ser- 
vants, lands, goods, rents, and property of 
every description, under his protection ; and 
by this patent requires his bailiffs and faithful 
subjects to maintain, protect and defend 
Chaucer, his servants, estates and effects, 
from all arrests and prosecutions, pleas of the 
crown only excepted, for the term of two 
years from the date of this patent. 

The real meaning of this deed must now 
perhaps remain a mystery for ever. From 
certain phrases which occur in it we might 
be inclined to regard it, as it has hitherto 
been regarded by the editors of his works, 
as a protection from his creditors. There are 
however various clauses and terms which do 
not seem, at least to a reader of the present 
day, such as it was natural to employ in an 
affair of that sort. It does not appear why 
his creditors should have excited quarrels and 
factions \^querelas she sec fas'] against him, 
nor should we expect his butcher and his 
baker to be styled in a public deed his com- 


petitors [amnios suosl. In a word we are de- chap.lii, 
stitute of documents to enable us to ascertain, v6g&, 
either what were the many arduous and ur- 
gent affairs of the crown in which Chaucer 
was at this time employed, or what the per- 
plexing and vexatious circumstances that 
made it important to him to obtain for two 
years an exemption from all arrests and pro- 

Thus much however, if any faith is to be chancer 

again en- 

Civen to the plain meaninp; and construction gag^'J «» 

C> r O public 

of words in a deed of this sort, is certain, ^^•''-*- 
that Chaucer, after seven years retirement, 
and being at this time seventy years of age, 
was now once more engaged in public life. 
What vy^as the nature of the affairs in which 
he was employed it seems impossible to dis- 
cover ; but it must have been no trivial con- 
cern that could authorise the description of 
" a great Variety of arduous and urgent po- 
litical transactions, to be performed and ex- 
pedited by Chaucer, as well in presence as 
absence of the king, in various parts of the 
realm ;" or that should have made it pro- 
bable, supposing these phrases to relate rather 


cHAP.Lii. to the affairs in question than to Chaucer's 
1398. private situation, that he would, on their ac- 
count, " be disquieted, molested or impleaded, 
by certain persons his competitors, and vexed 
v\dth suits, complaints and hostility." 

The true construction therefore of this 
grant of protection seems to be in a great 
degree opposite to the sense in which it has 
hitherto been understood, and to imply rather 
the present eminence of Chaucer, than that 
he was now obscured or obliged to conceal 
himself. The " many arduous and urgent 
affairs in which the king at this time em- 
ployed him," show that he was now of too 
much importance, or in too great a degree 
of favour at court, to allow him, even at 
seventy years of age, to enjoy his privacy 
fci the county of Berks. His being thus 
called back into public life, as well as the 
elegant and perhaps splendid retreat of which 
he could call himself master, was probably the 
immediate consequence of the marriage which 
the duke of Aquitaine had contracted with 
his kinswoman. We may suppose it to have 
been partly owing to Chaucer's being thus 


reengaged in public business, and partly it chapxii. 
may be to his removal to a new residence 1398. 
and mode of life on the event of John of 
Gaunt's marriage, that the Canterbury Tales 
were left in the imperfect and unfinished 
state in which we have received them ^ 

It was perhaps to reward Chaucer for the obtains a 

• 1 • .1 . 1 . grant of 

assiduity with which he discharged the busi- '"ine. 
ness here referred to, that he received, in the ■ 
autumn of the same year, a grant of a tun 
of wine yearly, to be delivered to him by the 
king's chief butler, in the port of London '*. 

' It ought to be observed that the house is supposed still 
to existj or an inn built upon the site of it, from which the 
personages of the Canterbury Tales set out upon their pil- 
grimage. The sign has been converted, by a confusion of speech, 
from the Tabard, " a slevelesse coate worne in times past by 
noblemen in the warres, but now onely by Heraults (see 
Speght, Glossary, in voc.)," into the Talbot, a species of 
hound 5 and the following inscription is to be found on the 
spot : " This is the inn, where Geoffrey Chaucer and nine-and- 
iwenty pilgrims lodged on their journey to Canterbury, in 1383.'* 
The inscription is truly observed by Mr, Tyrwhit to be modern, 
and of little authority : Discourse, note 6. 

" Appendix, No. XXV. 

VOL. i\r. I 


cHAP.Lii. Two remarks suggest themselves dn com- 
1S98. paring this gi^ant of wine with the grant of a 
similar nature which Chaucer received in the 
late reign. In the first place, the present 
amounted in value to scarcely more than half 
as much as the grant bestowed upon him at 
the time that his patron, John of Gaunt, had 
the supreme direction of affairs : three hun- 
dred and sixty- five pychers, or gallons, the 
amount of the grant of 13/4, being nearly 
equivalent to four pipes, or two tuns *^. Se- 
condly, the wine of 1374 was appointed to 
be delivered daily to Chaucer in the port of 
London, but the wine given in the present 
grant was to be delivered annually only, in 
the month of December. As therefore the 
inference is strong in the former instance that 
Chaucer resided in London, so it is probable, 
considering the two grants together, that the 
latter was constructed, in the contemplation 
at least of his future residence at some di- 

See Chap. XXXVT, Vol. II, p. 491. 


stance from the metropolis. Chaucer had chap.lil 
perhaps by this time concluded the business, 139s, 
whatever it was, to which his patent of pro- 
tection refers. 

I 2 




J. HE government of Richard 11. had been 
conducted on the whole with considerable 
Second mar- Hiildness and temper, from_ the period of his 
Rkhard resuming the royal authority in May 13 89. 
It however gained no accession of stability ; 
the personal character of the king was weak, 
fickle, effeminate and indolent ; and his time 
was principally spent in low excesses and 
prodigal debauchery. His chief rival and 
most dangerous competitor at this time, Tho- 

C H A p. 



mas of Woodstock, was of a disposition ^lih^' 
more congenial than that of Richard to the ■ ' 

times in which he lived, rough, boisterous 
and enterprising, animated with a boundless 
ambition, and rich in plans and talents for the 
gratification of this passibn. About the time 
of the third marriage of John of Gaunt, 
Richard also formed a contract of marriage 
with Isabella, daughter to the king of France, 
then seven years of age; and one of the con- 
ditions of the contract was a truce of thirty Tmee for 


years between the two countries \ No mea- years. 
sure could be more laudable ; England had 
long been vexed with inglorious and inde- 
cisive hostilities ; but Woodstock, who saw 
himself excluded from all share in the go- 
vernment, gladly took occasion from this 
circumstance, to harangue on all occasions 
respecting the glories of Edward III. and 
the Black Prince, and the imbecility of their 
descendant ; and to form a party against the 
crown ^ 

^ Rymer, Tom. VH, 19Ric. 2, Mar. 11. 
^ Froissart, Vol. IV, Chap.lxxxvi. 


CHAP. What was the extent of the projects of 
Thomas of Woodstock it is difficult to de- 

Conspiracy cidc. Thc archbishop of Canterbury, his 

of Thomas 

of Wood- brother the earl of Arundel, and Beauchamp 

stock. ^ . 

earl of Warwick, were embarked in the con- 
spiracy. Richard however had such intelli- 
gence as to enable him to forestal their pro- 
ceedings ; and they and their confederates 
Punishment were surpHscd and taken into custody "". A 

of conspi- ^ 

raters, parliament was summoned to determine upon 
ep em er. ^j^^'^. £^^^ . ^^^ ^j^^ duke of Aquitainc, who as 

hereditary great steward of England presided 
St their trials, by so doing gave a sanction 
to ^ the proceedings of government. The 
archbishop, who was first arraigned, in con- 
sideration of his station received sentence 
only of perpetual banishment; the earl of 
Arundel, who demeaned himself on his trial 
with an undaunted firmness, was dragged im- 
mediately from Westminster Hall to Tower 
Hill, and there executed ; and the earl of 
Warwick, by expressing great humiliation 

Rymer, Tom. VIII, 21 Ric. 2, Jul. 15. 


and penitence, succeeded to have his sentence chap. 
commuted from death to perpetual imprison- , 

ment '*. All the offenders, agreeably to the 
irregular and lawless spirit of the times, were 
arraigned, not for the new conspiracy, which 
could alone justify their punishment, but for 
the share they had taken in the usurpation of 
1386 ; a guilt which length of time, as well 
as repeated pardons from the crown, might 
have seemed to have obliterated. In fact, men 
were little studious, in this age, of the form- 
alities of legal proceedings, and adverted little 
to the danger of their violences being drawn 
into a precedent. It was enough for them, 
that the crime of the accused was regarded 
as publicly notorious, and that the proceed- 
ings by Vv^hich they were cut off, w^ere solemn 
and in the face of day. 

But a worse proceeding remained behind. Assassin - 
The king's uncle, the leader of the conspiracy, S ° 
was not brought to trial with the rest. He 

^ Cotton, 21 Ric. 2. Pari. Hist, ad ann. 


^ iitu' ^^^^ ^^° much a favourite with the nation ; 

and government did not venture to arraign 
and execute him in the metropolis of his coun- 
try. It was recollected that the beheading of 
Thomas earl of Lancaster, first prince of the 
blood, had been the signal for the deposition 
of Edward II, though he had been taken in 
arms against his sovereign. Richard however 
adopted a way perhaps still more dangerous. 
Immediately after the arrest of Thomas of 
Woodstock, he had transported him to Calais ; 
and, an order being now issued to the govern- 
* or of that fortress to bring him to London to 
trial, the answer returned was that he had 
suddenly died in custody ^ It may be believed 
that John of Gaunt, who had given his 
countenance to the public proceedings against 
the conspirators, was by no means privy of 
this : the younger, the more precipitate, and 
more confidential counsellors of Richard, 
must have been those who advised him to 

Cotton^ and Pari. History, ubi supra. 

Lli^ OF CHAUCER. 121 

a measure, which soon after terminated in ^ h a. p. 

' LIU. 

his destruction. ' ■•» 

A government, which has recourse to as- „ 

sassination as its means of defence, forfeits ouaneibc. 
all its peculiar advantages, and is the great H^'ei'ryof 
adversary of its own stability. In these tur- broke ana 
bulent times in particular, the leading nobility Mowbrajr 

duke of 

of England felt that this was a precedent Norfolk. 
peculiarly perilous to themselves. They were '^""'"^'" 
originally little disposed to submit to the curb 
of authority ; and the new situation which 
was thus created, rendered them still more 
furious and ungovernable. The parliament 
which had been summoned at Westminster 
for the trial of Woodstock and his confe- 
derates, was adjourned after a session of twelve 
days, and met again at Shrewsbury in the 
commencement of the following year. Here 
a fierce and public quarrel broke out between 
Henry of Bolingbroke eldest son to John of 
Gaunt, and Thomas Mowbray duke of Nor- 
folk, the lineal descendant and representative 
of Thomas of Brotherton younger son to 
Edward I, to whom, as governor of Calais, 
the custody of Thomas of Woodstock had 


CHAP, been Gommitted ; each charging the other 
with the most treasonable designs ^ 


There is great obscurity in the whole of 

this story. It is almost impossible to guess 
at the motives of the contending parties, 
or to form any tolerable solution respecting 
the strange proceeding by which Richard 
thought proper to terminate the affair. In 
the Parliament Rolls, Bolingbroke is repre- 
sented as the accuser, charging Mowbray 
with having sounded him respecting some 
project of sedition, with complaining of the 
tyrannical and sanguinary proceedings against 
the associates of Woodstock, and with as- 
serting that no one could be confident of his 
safety under such a government as the pre- 
sent. Froissart, who appears to speak from 
minute information, reverses all this, makes 
Mowbray the accuser, and Bolingbroke the 
party charged -with, disaffection. In com- 
paring these authorities, the records have un- 
doubtedly the highest claim to belief, unless 

Cotton, and Pari. Hii?toiyj ubi supra. Froissartj Chap, xcii. 


we could suppose that, in the lawless revo- chap. 
lution which followed, even they were vitiated ^"^' 
by the unscrupulous craft of the usurper. Add ^'^^^' 
to which, it is sufficiently singular, that the 
exact words which the Parliament Rolls put 
into the mouth of Bolingbroke, Froissart puts 
into that of Mowbray ; a coincidence which 
we should scarcely have expected, if his narr- 
rative had been founded upon rumour only. 
It is somewhat improbable, whichever way 
we take it, that any such private conversation, 
as we find each of these parties ready to lay to 
the charge of the other, ever took place. 
Mowbray was implicated in the reproach of 
the murder of Thomas of Woodstock : it is 
therefore very unlikely that he should have 
opened his lips to the nephew and brother-in- 
Jaw ^ of Woodstock, in the way of complaint 
on that subject ; nor is it a whit more probable 
that Bolingbroke would have selected him for 
his confident. 

^ Henry of Bolingbroke and Thomas of Woodstock had 
married sisters, coheiresses of the family of Bohun, earls of 


CHAP. I,et us suppose then that the accusation, 
^ from whichever party it came, was altogether 

X3Q,S. — 

a forgery. Mowbray was a confidential mi- 
nister and trusted agent of Richard II ; Bol- 
ingbroke might be desirous of effecting his 
death or banishment : yet, judging according 
to our notions, a solemn public duel would 
seem a very inartificial method for accom- 
plishing that purpose. There is somewhat 
more probability that the accusation and 
defiance should have come from Mowbray, 
who had more to fear from Bolingbroke 
than Bolingbroke could fear from him, and 
who, as possessing the royal ear, might sup- 
pose that he could turn the sequel of th^ 
transaction in any way he pleased. — It was 
determined at Shrewsbury by the royal au- 
thority, that the truth of the accusation 
should be tried by duel, and Coventry was 
the place ultimately fixed upon for the de- 
s^-' ■ o- Nothing could be more fatal in its con- 
Ss^KKi^i.-;:. sequences than the conduct adopted by Ri- 
chard in the sequel of this business. An 
immense assembly met at Coventry pursuant 


to the royal appointment. The lists being set, chap. 


and the combatants prepared, the king sud- 
denly interfered, and commanded them to Bott^L" 



desist; then pronouncing against Mowbray amsor- 
a sentence or banishment lor hie, and agamst bnr.ish- 
BoHngbroke for ten years ^ This decision 
is said to have been sanctioned by a com- 
mittee of twelve peers and six commoners to 
whom the parliament of Shrewsbury had 
delegated its authority, probably for the 
termination of this very affair, and of which 
the duke of Aquitaine was one. Bolingbroke 
however, who appears to have conceived a 
deep resentment for the murder of Thomas 
of Woodstock, was driven by this measure 
to inexpiable hatred. Yet, v/ith the smooth- 
ness and plausibility which belonged to his 
character, he exhibited such marks of sub- 
mission in their parting interview, that 
Richard was softened, and took that occasion 
to remit to him four, of the ten, years of his 
exile '. 

/' Cotton, and Pari. History, ubl supra. 
' CottoD;, Pari. History, and Froissart^ ubi supra. 


c K A p. The last support of the tottering throne 

. of Richard II. was taken away by the death 

johuo"f of John of Gaunt in the beginning of the 

Gaur.t- /> n • 

Fcbruaiys. tollowing year J. 

pStkuiars The Spleen of the church, which pursued 
?vem! this prince through life, followed him even in 
death, and gave birth to a malicious story re- 
specting the cause of his decease, which has 
lately been revived by the sinister and ill- 
omened industry of certain naturalists and 
antiquarians ^. A doctor of the church, by 
name Thomas Gascoigne, has left a documeiit 
on this subject in which he thus expresses 
himself ^ *' Novz ego ^magister Thomas Gas^ 
coigne^ licet indignus, sacred theologies doctor^ qui 
hcec scripsi et collegi, diversos viros, qui mortui 
fueriint ex putrefactione memkrorum suorim 
genitaliiim et corporis sui ; quce corruptio et 
putref actio, lit ipsi dixeriint^ causata fuit per 
exercitium ccpiilce carnalis cum mulieribus. 

^ Walsingham and Otterbourne, ad ann. 

'' Philosophical Transactions, Vol. XXXI, No. 2)^5, Art- 3^ 
anno 1720. Andrews, History of Great Britain, Vol. I. 

' Dictlonarlum Theologicum, apud MSS, in Line. Coll. 
Oxon. quoted in the above. 


Magnus enim dux in Anglia, scilicet y. de chap. 

Gaunt, mortuus est ex tali putrefactione 7nem- ~. 

brorum genitalium et corporis siii, causata per 
Jrequentationem mulierum. Magnus enim for- 
nicator fuit^ ut in toto regno Angli^e divulga^ 
batur ; et ante mortem suam, jacens sic injirmiis 
in lectOf eandem putrefactione in regi Anglia;^ 
Ricardo Secundoy ostendit^ cum idejfi rex eundem 
ducem in sua infrmitate visitavit ; et dixit mihi 
qui ista novit^ units f delis sacrcs theologies bac- 
calaureus^ This curious story has been in- 
geniously employed to vindicate the disco- 
verers of America from the charge of intro- 
ducing into Europe the most venom.ous of 

To judge of the credibility of this state- r,j\,:(v?. 
ment it is necessary we should consider by 
whom, and under what circumstances, it was 
made. The author was a distinguished mem- 
ber of the university of Oxford in the middle 
of the fifteenth century, having died in the 
year 1457, and having twice filled the office 
of chancellor there *". This was the period 

•* Wood, Antiq. Oxon., Coll. Orielense, Scriptores, 



CHAP, in which the most strenuous exertions were 
made for the suppression of the doctrines of 
Wicliffe ; and Gascoigne was among the most 
zealous in these exertions. Oxford, as we 
have aheady seen% had during the life of 
this reformer been deeply infected with the 
taint of heresy, and even many years after 
his death was still the favourite resort of his 
followers". In the year I4o0 a testimonial 
was drawn up, in favour of the character, 
learning, and piety of Wicliffe, in the name 
of the chancellor, and congregation of ma- 
sters of the university^. Some degree of 
artifice and management might perhaps have 
been employed in procuring the testimonial ; 
though this supposition seems by no means 
necessary, considering the bias under which 
Oxford is acknowledged to have laboured at 
that time. Its genuineness, at least, cannot, 
as it should seem, be disputed, since the uni- 
versity, in its letter to the council of Con- 

" Chap. XLVI, Vol. Ill, p. 824.. ° Wood, A. D. 141 1. 
' Wood, ad ann. 


Stance, produced there for the purpose of ex- chap. 


culpating its members from the discredit at- 
tendant upon such a document, do not pretend 
to disclaim it ''. Dr. Gascoigne however, 
who was anxious to wash out every stain of 
heresy from \i\^ alma mater^ does not hesitate 
at this ; and, in the work in which he has 
given the above tale of John of Gaunt, 
speaking of this transaction, says, " Peter 
Payne, an heretic, stole the common seal of 
the university, under which he wrote to the 
heretics at Prague in Bohemia, that Oxford 
and all England were of the same belief with 
those of Prague, except the false friars men- 
dicant '." This story of the forgery of Wic- 
lifFe's testimonial, being once confidently 
affirmed, has, agreeably to the mode in which 
history is usually written, been repeated by 
almost every grave historian from Dr. Gas- 
coigne to the present times. 

' L'Enfant, Histoire du Concile de Constance, LIv. Ill, 
Chap. xi. 

*■ Dictionarium Theologicum ; apud Wood, A. D. 1406, 
note d. 






CHAP. John of Gaunt was scarcely less obnoxious 

T TTT " J 

to the suppressors of heretical pravity than 
WiclifFe himself. It is well known that the 
circumstances attending the last moments of 
heretics and infidels have ever formed a 
favourite topic to their more fortunate and 
immaculate opposers. Precisely in this spirit, 
Walsingham has affirmed WiclifFe to have 
been struck by the judgment of God with 
the palsy of which he died, " on the an- 
niversary of the martyrdom of Thomas of 
Becket, just as he was about to utter from his 
pulpit the blasphemies which he had prepared 
against that holy confessor '." Antony Wood, 
himself no friend to innovation, understood 
in this sense the anecdote of Dr. Gascoigne. 
" Those," says he, " who are ever prompt 
to represent God and his providence as 
dogging the heels of their antipathies, con- 
tend that the death of WiclifFe was a judg- 
ment from God. The same persons further 
affirm John of Gaunt duke of Lancaster, 

4. D. 13S5. 



because he was a patron of V/iclifFe, pudejidis chap. 
suis mheriim in modum ulceribus exesis occu-===m 
buisse, and add that, being devoted to lewd 
women, he contracted a venereal contagion. 
Whether these things are true, or feigned for 
the gratification of hatred, I shall not dispute. 
Certainly most authors assert that this disease 
was first known in the world long after this 
period ; and it was held, even in the reign of 
Henry VIII, so infectious, as for it to have 
made one of the articles of treasonable ac- 
cusation against cardinal Wolsey, that he ap- 
proached the royal person at a time when 
he knew himself to be afflicted with this dis- 
order V 

Dr. Gascoigne's tale has certainly every in- 
herent token of a premeditated calumny. 
His " honest bachelor of divinity" is in- 
troduced in a manner, in which no witness 
was eve«r brought to an honest tale. If the 
circumstances he relates had made a subject 
of conversation between Richard II. and his 

* Wood, A. p. 1484. 


CHAP, dying uncle, this chancellor of the university 
- might have found witnesses of a very dif- 


ferent fashion to attest his narrative. The 
story is full of hesitation and secret shame in 
the writer. The better to maintain it, he adds 
that the duke was " known throughout all 
England for a great fornicator ;" thus making 
common repute as to character, the voucher 
John of for a particular fact. But Dr. Gascoigne's at- 

Caunr not . . . 'ill 

a man of testation to general character is probably as 
manners. iU-foundcd as his fact. John of Gaunt was 
indeed in the theological sense a fornicator ; 
for he was for twenty years in familiar con- 
nection with Catherine Swinford without 
being her husband ; and this circumstance 
with some degree of reason gave scandal to 
the professional guardians of the public mo- 
rals. But the fact itself of his long and 
constant attachment to this lady, upon which 
the scandal is apparently built, affords some 
degree of presumption that he was not the 
debauched and general libertine which Dr. 
Gascoigne would have us believe him. 
Hischa- It is reasonable therefore that we should 
dismiss the duke of Aquitaine in this history. 




with the character of a brave, generous and chap. 
accomplished prince ; too quick perhaps in his 
displeasure, and haughty in his resentments' ; 
but uniformly mild with the mild ; discrimin- 
ating in his friendships, constant in his at- 
tachments, fraught with the social spirit and 
with humanity, ever loyal to his prince, 
passionate for the glory, the liberties and the 
literature of his country, of a large and liberal 
mind, a man whose affection to Chaucer does 
equal honour to both parties ; and in a word, 
as he has been held by the multitude of his 
countrymen from the fourteenth century to 
the present hour, one of the most honourable 
specimens of the character of an old Eng- 
lish baron, which the history of this island is 
able to exhibit. 

There seemed a sort of fatality in the mea- His estates 
sures employed by Richard II. at this period to the 


of his reign. Bolingbroke, before he set out 
on his exile, had obtained from Richard letters 
patent, authorising him to take possession of 
his paternal inheritance by deputy, in case 
the duke of Aquitaine died in his absence \ 

'' Cotton, and Pari. History-;, ubi supra. 


^ Liii ^* J<^^^ ^^ Gaunt however had no sooner ex- 
= pired, than Richard, abetted by his committee 
of parHament, revoked these letters ; thus at a 
single stroke depriving Bolingbroke of this 
immense succession ^ He further proceeded 
to the violent measure of arraigning Henry 
Bowet, afterward archbishop of York, his 
own chaplain, on the charge of having been 
" of counsel in the device made to Boling- 
broke in these letters ;" and he was adjudged 
to die; but his sentence, in consideration of 
his profession, was afterward commuted into 
Richard n. that of banishment". About the same time, 

goes into 

Ireland. Rogcr Mortimcr earl of March, who had 
been recognised by parliament as heir to the 
crown, and who had for several years pre- 
sided over the government of Ireland, was 
killed in a skirmish with the barbarous natives- 
of that country ^ Richard, irritated at the 
intelligence, and prompted by love for his 
deceased kinsman, resolved upon an expe- 
dition agamst his destroyers "", and, eager for 

" Cotton, and Pari. History, ubi supra. 
-" Walsingham, ad ann. 



the accomplishment of this new object, en- ^JJ^^^'* 
tirely overlooked the perilous state of affairs — 

at home. The measures also which he adopted 
for the purpose of equipping his expedition, 
were singularly impolitic, vexatious and op- 

Henry of Bolinebroke was restrained by chamcrer 

•' ° ' anddis- 

no such considerations as had governed the positions 

*-' of Heniy 

public life of his father, No sooner had j[^^^'"s- 
John of Gaunt sailed upon his expedition 
to Spain in 1380, than Bolingbroke, taking 
advantage of his absence, had joined in the 
machinations of Thomas of Woodstock ; and 
he had been one of the five lords-appellants 
who soon after brought sir Simon Burley and 
the other favourites of Richard to the scaf- 
fold ^ He might therefore, as reasonably as 
that prince, or as the earls of Arundel and 
Warwick, have been brought to account for 
his conduct on that occasion, had not his 
father stood between him and the royal 
vengeance, and procured him im^punity. He _ 

» Cotton, 11 Ric. 2. 


CHAP, had, then, reason to believe that he should 
: never be entirely safe under the reign of Ri- 

chard. He entered willingly into the opinion 
that all things are lawful when a crown is the 
end in view; and he felt none of those scruples 
of the chivalrous character, which represented 
loyalty as one of the principal constituents of 
a truly honourable disposition. He saw with 
delight that Richard with the flower of the 
military forces of England was removed to 
a distance, that his government was every 
where both hated and despised, and that 
Mortimer, the next heir to the crown, being 
dead, had left only an infant family to inherit 
his claim ^ He believed that he should be 
for ever worthy of contempt as a politician, 
if he did not eagerly set himself to improve 
a situation in which so many circumstances 
cooperated for his success. 
Lands in Boliugbroke proceeded by gentle and plau- 
juiy4. sible steps to the attainment of the great 

^ Edmund, the eldest son, was eight years of age. Diigdale> 
Baronage, Vol. I, art. Mortimer. 


object he had in view. He landed in Endand c h a v. 

•^ ° Llll. 

with a very small number of followers ^ = 

Being come, he protested that he did not en- His ap- ' 
tertain a thought injurious to the established de'radon. 
government, and had no design in his expe- 
dition but to claim in person, since he was 
not permitted to do so by his representative, 
the extensive domains of his deceased father. 
Many of the English nobility resorted to him 
in support of this his equitable pretension, 
immediately on his arrival. It was the ge- 
neral sentiment that he had been most un- 
justly treated ; and no one was willing to 
resist him. He observed the state of things ; 
he calculated his measures with consummate 
craft and duplicity. He proceeded in a short 
time further, to undertake to reform the ad- 
ministration of government, and to remove 
the evil ministers who had advised Richard to 
the murder of his uncle, and to the other vio- 
lent measures which had lately been pursued. 
The whole kingdom seemed, as it were by his success. 

Walsingham, ad ann. 


^ Lin ^" concert, to embrace the party of the invader ; 

' the duke of York, who had been left regent, 

1399. . , . . 

Puts to after a show of resistance joined him; and 

death the ^ ^ '' 

favour- three of the king's principal advisers were 

rtes of Ri- & r r ^ 

chard. put to death by summary execution ^. The 
new state of things was wholly unexpected ; 
the revolution was sudden and complete ; and 
men had not time to reflect upon the calami- 
ties which would probably result from placing 
a bold and insolent usurper upon the throne. 
Richard II. Richard, immediately on receiving the news 
August.' of the invasion, returned to defend his birth- 
js taken right, was dcscrtcd by his followers, and 

prisoner. o ■» y 

reposed, taken prisoner ^ ; and, in less than three 
months from the landing of Henry, this 
daring invader was proclaimed king, and en- 
tered into undisputed possession of the func- 
tions of royalty. 

Behaviour It IS ueccssary that we should recollect 

of Chaucer • 1 i 

on that these particulars, that we may estimate pro- 
perly the conduct of the father of English 
poetry in this last period of his life. The 


* Walsinghani, ad ann. 


behaviour of Gower, his brother-poet, on this chap. 


revolution has already been related ". He was 
one of the first to congratulate the new king^ 
upon his unexpected and ill-gotten dignity ; ^ gowci. 
and he thought he could never sufficiently 
exercise his talent in encomiums upon this 
great event. Nor can we severely condemn 
his feelings or his conduct ; he experienced 
an awful joy at seeing the murder of his 
great protector and patron so soon and signrliy 
avenged. But his feelings were those of a 
man and a friend, not of one deeply interested 
in and profoundly attentive to the welfare of 
the community. 

Chaucer preserved the most inviolable 
silence. Not one line has he dedicated to 
this revolution ; not in one passage of his 
works is there any m^ention of Henry of Bol- 
ingbroke. He was a younger man than 
Gower ; and we may infer, from the number 
of documents which relate to him in the 
short remainder of his life, that he was in 

« Vol. II, Chap. XVII, 


^Lm^' ^^^s<^^^^^t>le health, and in full possession of 

= his faculties. 

Chaucer had many motives that Gower 
had not, to pay his devotions to the new lord 
of the ascendant. Henry IV. was the son of 
the man to whom he had been unreservedly 
attached through life, and who had never 
ceased to load him with benefits. He had 
therefore a sort of hereditary claim upon him. 
We may believe, from the multitude of verses 
in which Gower has celebrated the usurper, 
that Henry was ambitious of the suffrage of 
the muses ; and indeed it was in the character 
of so artful a statesman, to desire this in ad- 
dition to the other means of supporting his 
throne. The Beaufoits, nephews to Chaucer's 
wife, were particularly distinguished by Henry 
IV. who was their brother by the father's 
side : the earl of Somerset was appointed by 
him in the first year of his reign chamberlain 
of England ^ ; and in the sequel Thomas, 
afterward duke of Exeter, lord high admiral 

^ Sandford, Book IV, Chap. VIII. 



^nd lord chancellor^; while Henry bishop chap. 
of Lincoln, was successively nominated to = 
the see of Winchester, and obtained the hat of 
a cardinal ^ Nor was the king inattentive to 
the poet or his family. Chaucer had not only 
his former grants confirmed to him, but also 
received an additional grant of forty marks 
per armum \ and Thomas, his son, obtained 
from the bounty of the sovereign a variety of 
other distinctions, beside being appointed to 
the office of chief butler, and elected, as it 
should seem through the influence of the 
crown, speaker of the house of commons. 

These things considered, the contrast be- 
tween the behaviour of Chaucer and Gower 
on this memorable occasion cannot fail to 
appear striking. Chaucer, we have a right 
to believe, as a patriot, anticipated the conse- 
quences of the usurpation with terror. He 
felt that it would be unworthy the respect he 
entertained for the memory of John of Gaunt, 
one of whose most cherished principles was 

Sandford, Book IV, Chap. I. 


CHAP. loyalty, and who, he was sure, would, if yet 

' living:, have been amone the bitterest censurers 

1399' . 

of the conduct of his son, to join the crowd 

of adulators drawn together by the attraction 
of a splendid crime. He disdained to pro- 
stitute himself to the applause of a bold and 
dazzling act, pregnant with the direst cala- 
mities to his country. As a poet, he felt too 
deeply the sacredness of the muse, to be able 
to lend his talents to the temporising politics 
of the day, or to employ his pen, for any 
motives of private interest or affection, in 
blazoning the cause of guilt. As an old man 
en the brink of the grave, his feelings were 
too serious, to allow him, as the last act of 
his life, to praise that by which he might be 
benefited, but which w^as unworthy of praise, 
and which all posterity would condemn. 
Stanzas, en- Oue cxceptiou to this statement occurs, if 
Chaucer to our poct be really the author of the Envoy 

bis Emptie 

Purse, to a well-humoured and pleasant little copy 
of verses, entitled Chaucer to his Emptie 
Purse. These stanzas have the appearance of 
referring to the last period of the poet's life, 
when he came to London, as it has been said, 



for the purpose of soliciting his affairs at court, ^ Lin.^* 
somewhat deranged by the late revolution. = 
Henry IV. annulled the proceedings of that 
assembly of the legislature which had been 
convoked on occasion of Woodstock's con- 
spiracy ^ ; and it has therefore been supposed 
that all the grants and acts of authority of the 
two last years of Richard were treated by his 
successor as void. This circumstance has 
been understood as affecting the resources of 
Chaucer, and obliging him to repair to the 
metropolis to petition the renewal of his 
grants. The stanzas, named, Chaucer to his 
Emptie Purse, are in agreement with this 
representation. In the course of them, the 
poet gaily intreats of his purse, if she " wol 
. not be his tresoure," and supply him to the 
extent of his vnsh^ that at least she will not 
wholly desert him : 

Out of this towD^ helpe me by your might I 

and a little further on, 

' Cotton, I Hen. 4. 


^ ^rfr ^' Tor I am shave as nio-he as anv ^ frere. 

1399. The Envoy, which is comprised in five 
lines, commences, 

O conquerour of '' Brutes Albion, 
Which that, by lyne, and fre eleccion^ 
Ben very kinge. 

This couplet may without hesitation be re- 
ferred to Henry IV, as it insists upon nearly 
the same grounds of claim to the crown, as 
. Henry himself alluded to when in open par- 
liament he challenged the succession '. 

It would be by no means extraordinary, if 
Chaucer, in writing this couplet, should have 
satisfied himself with the thought that there 
was a wide difference, as indeed there is, 
between an incidental epilogue to a courtly 
copy of verses in which the poet is soliciting 
his affairs, and such elaborate and fulsome 
panegyrics as Gower addressed to the new 

* friar. 

*• Brute, the first conqueror of England according to the„ 
fabulous history of Geoffrey of Monmouth. 
^ Cotton, 1 Hen. 4. Pari. History, ad ann. 

Their clia- 


sovereign ; and should have allowed himself chat. 


nuine pro- 
duction of 

in the one, while he conscientiously abstained 
from the other. ^^^^* 

We must however by no means hastily Not a ge- 

^ nuine pro 

conclude that this compliment to the usurper, ^""'°" of 
slight as it is, was penned by Chaucer. Every 
lover of poetry" in England, for two centuries 
after Chaucer's death, made the writings of 
this poet his principal study : many who in- 
cidentally courted the muse, were willing to 
shoot in his Ulysses's bow, and were grati- 
fied, if, in the dust and confusion of manu- 
scripts, a few lines of theirs might pass upon 
the world for his. This is the true source of 
the several surreptitious narratives which have 
been intruded into the Canterbury Tales, and 
which Mr. Tyrwhit has so judiciously weed- 
ed out. It would be nothing wonderful then, 
if, in the midst of " the heap of rubbish ''," 
which Stow and others admitted into their 
editions, the Envoy in question, or even the 

" Tyrv/hlt, Account of the Works of Chaucer, prefixed to 
his Glossary. 



CHAP, whole of the stanzas, entitled Chaucer to his 
Emptie Purse, should have been falsely attri- 


buted to our author. 
^Td'h'^'his ^^ argument that this is really the case 
toJy.^'' s-rises from the consideration, that they do not 
well accord with what, from other sources, we 
know of Chaucer's situation at this time. It 
has been proved by a crowd of witnesses 
that in the latter part of his life he tenanted 
Donnington-Castle ; and it has been shown 
to be extremely probable, that this mansion 
was given him by John of Gaunt, to raise 
him from the plebeian rank to which he had 
hitherto belonged. It is not likely that thq 
uncle-in-law of cardinal Beaufort and his 
brothers ; the father of him who in the se- 
cond year of Henry IV. was speaker of the 
house of commons ; and a man who was in 
some sense kinsman to the king ; should 
have been in the forlorn circumstances de- 
scribed in these stanzas, " shave as nighe as 
any frere," and unable to remove himself 
from London to his provincial home. It 
has been said by some biographers, that, " all 
the publick acts of the deposed king Richard in 


the twenty-first year of his reign being de- chap. 
clared void, Chaucer was forced to quit his 

retirement, to come up to town to solicit his 
causes V' But this has probably been affirmed 
by inference from the stanzas in question, and 
is contradicted by the records ; from which 
it appears that the ground of his soliciting 
the renewal of his patents was not any sup- 
posed want of validity in the grants of Ri- 
chard, but that Chaucer had by some accident 
lost or mislaid them ; and they were imme- 
diately renev/ed on its appearing from the 
copies in the rolls, that such grants had been 
made to him by the late sovereign ™. 

We know however that Chaucer came to chaucer re 
London, in the last year of his life, and that Lond 
he died there ; though we do not know the 
cause of this removal. Leland says that, 
" toward the close of his life, when his hairs 
were grey, and the infirmities of age pressed 
heavily upon him, he found himself obliged 

' Biographia Britannica, art. Chaucer. 
• Appendix, No. XXVI L 

L 2 

moves to 


CHAP, to come to London for the arrangement of 

LIII. . . . 

== his affairs, and there died " :" and, though the 

^^^^' work of Leland, containing this information, 

is not distinguished for accuracy, its statement 

in this point is partly confirmed to us by an 

independent and unquestionable document. 

Rents a Thcrc is preserved, among the records in the 

houie uear 

WT.simm- office of the dean and chapter of Westminster, 

stei- Ab- •*■ ' 

^•^'- a lease, made to Chaucer by Robert Her- 
modesworth, keeper of the chapel of St. 
Mary at Westminster, in the name of the 
abbot, prior and convent of Westminster, of 
a tenement situate in the garden of this cha- 
pel ; for the term of fifty-three years, but 
determinable by the death of Chaucer ; at 
the yearly rent of fifty -three shillings and 
four pence ^ The date of this lease however, 
the twenty-fourth of Decem.ber, does not 
accord with the supposition, that the object 

Kis pen. of Chaucer in his journey to London was 

sions re- i • • i i r i • r-w-ii 

newed. to solicit the rcucwal 01 his grants. That 
object was obtained by him on the eighteenth 

Scriptores Britannici, cap, dv. ° Appendix, No. XXVIII. 


of October, eighteen days after the accession chap. 
of the new sovereign p ; and a further pension ' 

of forty marks per annum was settled upon ^ further 
him five days earlier *^. It is clear therefore conferred 
that the question of these grants was attended "^°" '""" 
with no difficulty ; and it is reasonable to 
believe that the favour which Chaucer ob- 
tained, sprung from the spontaneous friend- 
ship and kindness of Henry IV, 

Why Chaucer, who was more than se- 
venty years of age, should hire a house for 
fifty-three years, seems difficult to discover. 
The reason of his removing to London 
probably was, that, in the present perilous 
state of revolution, he deemed a country-re- 
sidence scarcely safe, and judged that the 
proper retreat for one resolved to take no 
part in political affairs, was the metropolis. 

The short remainder of the life of Chaucer ■ 

was not undistinguished, by memorable public Piot for the 

A • r ^ -11 assassin- 

events. A conspiracy was formed toward the a'^n of 

Henry IV. 

close of the year for the assassmation of the 

Appendix, No. XXVII. " Appendix, No. XXVI. 




usurper ; and, what is sufficiently remark- 
= able, the consultations for this purpose are 
said by some of our old chroniclers "^ to have 
been held in the house of the abbot of West- 
minster, nearly adjoining to that which had 
lately been leased to Chaucer. This story 
however, so far as relates to the abbot of 
Westminster, has been completely refuted ^ 
The principals in the plot w^ere ' the earl 
of Huntingdon half-brother to the deposed 
king, the earl of Rutland eldest son of Ed- 
mund of Langley duke of York, and other 
companions of the riotous and dissolute 
hours of the unfortunate monarch ; who, 
having been treated with considerable rigour 
by the first parliament of Henry IV, were at 
the same time left at large to pursue their 
revenge. The administration however of 
Richard II. had become so hateful to the 

' Hall and Hollinshed, The story has been repeated by 
Sandford, Kennet, Rapin and Henry. 
^ Widmore, History of Westminster Abbey, ad ann. 
' Walsingham, ad ann. 


common people, that, when the conspiracy ^"..f ^• 
was detected, and some of the principal of 

those engaged in it had taken refuge in the 
castle of Cirencester, they were beset by the 
populace, and, having fired the town in 
their own defence, were dragged into the 
market-place, and there beheaded ". Near Executions* 
forty persons of distinction were thus ex- 
ecuted, by orders from Henry IV, or other- 
Wise ^ ; one of whom, the earl of Hunting- 
'don, had for his consort a daughter of the 
deceased John of Gaunt, and sister to the 
present king. The earl of Rutland had pre- 
viously made his peace by betraying his as- 

The event of this conspiracy was not less ^^^!l°^fi' 
fatal to the unhappy Richard ; who survived ^^^- ^^• 
the destruction of his kindred and partisans 
only by a few weeks, having perished with 

" Walsingham, ad ann, 

" Hall, Hollmshed, &c. Walsingham, who does not specify 
any number, says, quamplures hvjus conspirationis conscii viorte 
muktati sunt; and again^ plures acceperimt similem mortis 


CHAP. hun2:er in the eastle of Pomfret, where he 

LIII. ^ 

was confined, and in which, sixteen years 


before, John of Gaunt had been obliged to 
take refuge from the snares which Richard 
spread for his Hfe. Either the suspicious and 
unrelenting usurper, irritated by the con^- 
spiracy, issued orders for the destruction of 
his rival by these cruel means : or, which is 
the report of the contemporary historians, 
and is sufficiently coincident with what we 
know of the disposition of the misguided 
prince, hearing of this general massacre of. 
his friends, he refused all nourishment, and 
voluntarily followed them to the tomb \ 

The body of Richard was brought to Lonr- 
don, the face being uncovered and exposed 
to view in every town on the road, and in 
St. Paul's cathedral, that his death might be 
universally known, and that it might be be- 
lieved that no violence had been practised 
against him "". 

* Walsingham and Otterbourne, ad ann. The first author, 
who mentions the tale of his being murdered by eight assas- 


sins, IS Fabian. He however coolly affirms of this story, that c H A P. 
it is what " of moste wryters is testyfied and alleged." Scrope, ^^^^' 

archbishop of York, who was beheaded for high treason in 1400 
1405, asserts, in the manifesto in which he announced his re- 
bellion, that Richard perished in consequence of being denied 
all sustenance, having first endured the miseries of hunger 
and thirst for fifteen days and nights. (Anglia Sacra, Pars II, 
art. 18.) The testimony of this distinguished personage how- 
ever is somewhat allayed, not only by the consideration of the 
nature of such a manifesto, in which the opposite party is of 
course to be loaded with every crime, but also by the phrase 
with which his assertion is qualified, " ubi in fame, siti ac 
frigore, ut p'vlgariter dicitur, eum crucifixerunt, interemerunt 
ft occiderunt," — This Scrope, brother to the earl of Wiltshire 
one of the favourites of the unhappy Richard, and descended 
from the Scropes of Masham, was of a very different family, 
as well as character, from Richard lord Scrope of Bolton, the 
friend of Chaucer. 




^LivT' Chaucer died on the twenty-fifth of 
1400. October of the present year, in London, and 
no doubt in the house he had hired from 
the abbot of Westminster, the situation of 
which is said to have been nearly on the 
same spot where Henry VII's. chapel now 
stands % 
^"sed to^" There is a copy of verses, which appears 
wrltte^nby to be gcuuine, and which is contained in all 
onhif the editions, entitled, Gode Counsaile of 
' Chaucer ; that is said to have been " made 

'' Widmore, History of Westminster Abbey, ad ann. 
1502, 3. 


by him upon his dethe bedde lying in his c h a p. 

grete anguysse ''." The notion that it was so r-^ 

composed is somewhat corroborated by the 
phraseology of the fourth Hne from the end, 
which has no strict connection with the pre- 
ceding part of the composition. Mr. Tyrwhit 
justly observes, that, " of such a circum- 
stance, some further proof should be re- 
quired," than merely the rubric, prefixed 
perhaps in a single manuscripts The cir- 
cumstance however may be real : the state- 
ment may have been founded upon constant 
tradition or unequivocal authority. The idea 
of verses so composed will always be interest- 
ing, and the vein of the stanzas in question 
is calculated to increase this interest. They 
are expressive of that serene frame of temper, 

^ Speght, Life of Chaucer : his books, A manuscript in 
the Cotton Library (Otho^ A. 18: see the Life of Chaucer 
in Urry, and Tyrwhit^ Account of Chaucer's Works prefixed 
to Glossary) exhibiting the above title^, or rubric, has sitice 
been lost or destroyed, 

'^ ubi supra. 


^uv^' that pure and celestial equanimity, which so 
, eminently characterised the genius of Chaucer 

and of Shakespear. I shall therefore insert 
them in this place. 

FLIE fro the ^prese, and dwell with 'soth- 

fastnesse ; 
^Suffise unto thy gode, though it be small ; 

For ^ horde hath hate, and climbyng ''tikel- 

' Prece hath envie, and ^ wele is blent oer 

^Savour no more then the behoven shall ^* 
*" Rede well thy selfe, that other folk canst 

rede ; 
And "" trouthe the shall deliver, 'tis no 


* press, multitude crowding in the pursuit of advancement. 
" sincerity, ^ Live according to thy means, 

« hoarding. ^ uncertainty. ' Ambition. 

* opulence is every where a prey to censure. 

' Indulge thy appetite no more. " Judge, 

" sincerity, out of doubt, shall be thy deliverance. 


Paine the not eche croked to redresse, chap. 

• In trust of her that tourneth as a balle : ■ - 

Grete ^ rest standeth in litel businesse : ^'*°°' 

Beware also to spurne again a i nalle ; 
Strive not as doth a " crock6 with a walle ; 
• Demeth thy self, that demest others dede ; 
And trouthe the shall deliver, 'tis no drede. 

That the is sent receve * in buxomnesse ; 
The wrastlyng of this worlde asketh a fall ; 
Here is no home ; here is but wildernesse : 
Forthe, pilgrim, forthe, o " best out of thy 

stall ! 
Loke up on high, and thanke thy God of all ; 
" Weiveth thy luste, and let thy ghoste the 

lede ; 
And trouthe the shall deliver, 'tis no drede. 

Thus then we may have the pleasure of 
believing, what is sufficiently probable from 
other circumstances, that Chaucer died, at 

° In confidence of Fortune. ^ tranquillity. 

^ nail, "^ cup, a piece of pottery. 

' Judge. * with submission, with content. " beast. 
" Suppress thy carnal passions, and obey the promptings of 
thy spirit. 


C H A P, 


the venerable age of seventy-two, in the 
' same happy frame of mind in which he had 
lived, cheerful, composed and serene, at peace 
with the world, and philanthropically dis- 
posed with his dying breath to speak counsels 
of prudence and contentment to those who 
survived. Upon his death-bed he was pro- 
bably attended, if by no other relative, at 
least by his eldest son, who, if we may judge 
from the career he afterward ran and the 
honourable place he filled in society, was 
nearly every thing that the fondest father 
Thomas could have wished. 


proved to Nothins: was ever more idle than the doubt 

have been *-^ 

his son. -yyhich has been started, whether Thomas 
Chaucer were really the son of the poet. 
The fact is attended with a degree of evi- 
dence rarely to be expected in a case of this 
sort, when it has not been absolutely ascer- 
tained by direct proofs and legal documents 
in the first instance. The person who drew 
the pedigree exhibited by Speght, and who 
has thus vouched with his name for the 
exactness of the descent, Robert Glover, is 
proverbially, among men officially concerned 




with questions of this nature, the highest chap. 
authority which England ever produced. He 
died in the year 1588, after having twenty 
years occupied a situation in the College of 
Heralds ; and the collections he left behind 
him are so numerous and elaborate, that 
whatever is most valuable in Camden is held 
by the best judges to have been derived from 
his labours and researches \ 

But there are many other arguments, con* 
firming to us the pedigree by Glover. Among 
the arms engraved upon the tombs of Thomas 
Chaucer and his daughter the duchess of 
Suffolk in the parish church of Ewelm in 
the county of Oxford, the spinning wheel, 
the emblem of the family name of the poet'^s 
wife^ Rouet, is one of those which most fre- 
quently occurs ; and the whole church is 
paved with carved bricks among v/hich the 

y For this opinion I am enabled to quote the authority of 
Francis Townsend, esquire, Windfor Herald, mentioned in the 
Disser^tion prefixed to Vol. I. 



CHAP, same figure is repeatedly exhibited. The 
==== estates descended in the same manner as the 
arms, and we find Thomas Chaucer, and the 
De la Poles dukes of Suffolk, acknowledged 
as the undoubted proprietors of Donnington- 

The ages of Geoffrey and of Thomas 
Chaucer are exactly such as the relative si- 
tuation of father and son would seem to- 

Lastly, my researches among the records 
have enabled me to discover, that Thomas 
Chaucer was indebted for his advancement in 
life to the same patronage, which had con- 
stantly been extended to the poet. It appears 
from the patent rolls of Henry IV. already 
quoted, that Thomas Chaucer held certain 
offices in the establishment of John of Gaunt. 
And it is notorious that he derived his great 
appointments of chief butler to the king, and 
speaker of the house of commons, from the 
favour of the monarchs of the house of Lan- 

It is proper to mention that,- from Thomas 


Chaucer, in the thu'd degree was descended chap. 
John De la Pole earl of Lincoln, who in right 

of his mother Elizabeth, sister to Edward IV. ^'^°^' 
and Richard III, was selected by the latter as 
presumptive heir of the throne of England ^ 
The tomb of Alice duchess of Suffolk, the Antiquities 


daughter of Thomas Chaucer, is one of the 
most splendid, and in the finest preservation, 
belonging to so remote a period, in the king- 
dom. The less ostentatious monument of 
her father is at a little distance below. A 
small part of the offices belonging to her 
mansion here, and nine square fish-ponds 
which were constructed as the ornament of 
her garden, are still in existence. There is also 
a God's House adjoining to the church, built 
by the duchess and her consort, the establish- 
ment of which retains its original character. 
The village of Ewelm is singularly beautiful, 
sequestered and rural. The princely magni- 
ficence of the De la Poles is gone ; and no- 

^ HoUinshedj A. D. 1484. 


CHAP, thins; remains behind but some slight ma- 
~ terials to exercise the curiosity of the anti- 
quarian, or the fancy of the visionary. 

As we meet with no mention of Lewis, 
the poet's younger son, after the year 13Q], 
it is impossible for us to ascertain whether he 
survived his father, or died in his nonage. 

ciwucer a Chauccr appears to have been a widower 
at the time of his death. This is clearly im- 
plied in the copy of verses beginning " My 
master Bukton," which has been absurdly 
printed in all the editions as an Envoy to the 
Boke of the Duchesse \ In it he refers to the 
Tale, or the Prologue, of the Wif of Bathe, 
or to both ; it must therefore have been writ- 
ten toward the end of his life. The lines 
from which we derive our information are 

* This mistake is detected by Mr. Tyrwhit, who has sup- 
plied the proper name of the person to whom the versus are 
addressed, from a manuscript in the Bodleian CollL'ction, 
Fairfax, 16. See Account of Chaucer's Works, prefixed to 


And therefore, thouo'li I ''lii^'ht for to ex- chap. 
presse . .i 

The sorowe' and woe that is in mariage, ^'^^^' 

I dare not write of it no wickednesse^ 
Lest I my self fall "" eft in soche dotage. 

Chaucer cannot be understood to declare, 
either in jest or earnest, his fears that he 
might hereafter fall into the snares of mar- 
riage, if his wife were living at the time he 
wrote. — It would be unjust however, from 
his playfully expressing an aversion to mar- 
riage in the character of a satirist, to infer 
that he had not lived in perfect harmony and 
happiness with the mother of his children. 

The remains of Chaucer were interred in His inter- 
Westminster Abbey. This venerable edifice 
had already for centuries been the burial- 
place of our kings ; and it is probable that at 
least the most usual motive for admitting the 
bones of any person deceased into this re- 
pository of monarchs, was the honour with. 

*• am called, Tyrwhit^ in voc. ^ afterward. 

M 2 


CHAP, which he was contemplated by survivors. A 
'- distinction of this sort was perhaps held more 
sacred in these days of chivalry, than in the 
more equal times in which we live, when 
talents and virtues are recognised to be the 
true nobility. The tomb of Chaucer, in the 
estimate of the present age, reflects the highest 
honour upon the roof under which it is 
placed ; but even among barbarians the title 
of a man to this mausoleum would have been 
acknowledged, who was in some sort a kins- 
man to the throne. It is likely that Thomas 
Chaucer stood by, and saw the remains of 
his father quietly deposited in the grave. It 
is likely that his funeral was attended by his 
nephew, Beaufort bishop of Lincoln, and the 
brother of the bishop, the lord great cham- 
berlain of England. If these circumstances 
add nothing to the genuine honours of Chau- 
cer, and if we confess the name of the poet 
to be greater than all the denominations which 
monarchs can bestow, yet the most fastidious 
philosopher may be gratified to see things as 
they actually were, and to be an attendant in 
imagination upon the herse of Chaucer. 




ilAVING accompanied Chaucer through 
his public and poetical life, as far as our do-^ — — --^ 
cuments will enable us, from the cradle to 
the tomb, it may be gratifying to take one 
connected and concluding view of his man- 
ners and habits, to survey the features of his 
mind, and the principal traits of his cha- 

We know little of his early youth, except Review of 

, his history. 

that he was born and brought up m the city His birth. 
of London ; and we seem to have sufficient 
indications that he was not exposed to the 
inconveniences of a narrow fortune, and that 
he received all the intellectual discipline and 
instruction which the metropolis of England 


CHAP.LV. could then afford. If he discovered in his 
boyish years any of those original powers 
which have recommended him to our present 
attention, if his progress in learning was rapid, 
or if any interesting anecdotes of enterprise, 
good-nature or fortitude were repeated of him 
by his contem-poraries, these circumstances, 
as might be expected, are lost to us for ever 
through the obscurity of the long interval of 
time which has succeeded. 

His scho- "^t college, during the period of his studies 
iSon!"^" at Cambridge, at Oxford, and perhaps at 
Paris, he was indefatigable in his exertions 
to attain a knowledge of what man and mind 
had been in the ages that were elapsed. It 
perhaps never happened that a man was so 
devoted to books as Chaucer represents him- 
self to have been at successive periods of his 
life, without feeling a very early vocation 

Age of to the pursuit of letters. Ancient history 
was at this time an unsubstantial and fleeting 
shade. The writings of the Greeks were in- 
accessible to Chaucer. But he studied Latin, 
French and Italian. Virgil was particularly 
his favourite. The adventures of romance. 


and the songs of the minstrels, were listened 
to by him with avidity. Tales of chivalry, " 

of generous enterprise and heroic adventure, 
had a double interest with him, because he 
knew that, when he went forth into the 
world, the men of whom he read, a race that 
is now extinct, would be the objects of his 
daily observation and intercourse. The whole 
world was then romantic, scenic and sublime. 
The castle of the ancient baron, the mag- 
nificence of ecclesiastical edifices, the splen- 
dour of the tournament, the solemnity of 
religious worship yet unstripped of any of 
its decorations, the troops of monks and friars 
devoted to the things of an invisible world, 
these were the objects which met the eye on 
every side. The mind of man was not yet 
broken down into a dull uniformity. This 
was the age of reformers and of robbers. 
Pilgrimages and crusades invited the consent 
of the pious. Chaucer too had a particular 
turn for subjects of humour. And those ad- 
ventures which have since received their last 
touches from the hands of Boccaccio,. Ariosto, 

168 LIFE OF CHAUCER. La Fontaine and Voltaire, were not feebly 
"" " shadowed forth in the tales of the twelfth and 

thirteenth centuries. 
His friends. It was at coUege that Chaucer contracted 

a friendship with Gower and Strode, two 

young Oxonians of great learning and talents ; 

a friendship which probably lasted for the 

greater part of their lives. 
His pro- Chaucer was both a lawyer and a soldier : 

lessional '' 

pursuits. |j^|. jje quitted each of these professions after 
a very short trial, and having collected from 
the experiment a more exact knowledge of 
human nature as it is modified by them, 
than he could have gained merely as a 

His con- Chaucer was a courtier; but he was a 

uections at 

court. courtier in the best sense of the word, not 
bowing at levees, not depending upon the 
smites and promises of ministers, but asso- 
ciating with their masters, and being the cour 
fident of the loves of the generous, and at 
least as yet uncorrupted, because as yet 
youthful, offspring of those masters. He 
probably had a large share in forming the 


mind of the patron of Wicliffe ; the saviour 
of the bishop of Limoges, of Hereford, and 
of Swinderby ; the generous, gallant, manly 
and frank John of Gaunt duke of Lancaster. 
He was the earnest vindicator of his ca- 
lumniated reputation. He is said to have 
been employed by Blanche, the heiress of 
Lancaster and youthful consort of John of 
Gaunt, to write the godly verses which she 
chanted as she dropped her beads. 

Chaucer received in early life the eift of a His house at 

^ ° Wood- 

house almost contiguous to the royal palace stock. 

at Woodstock. This gift could have no other 
meaning than that his sovereigns were de- 
sirous frequently to enjoy his society, and be 
exhilarated with the sallies of his conversation. 
He observed intimately the heroic Philippa ; 
the venerable mother of the Black Prince, of 
Lionel of Antwerp, and of John of Gaunt ; 
the protectress of the distressed, and the pa- 
troness of Froissart. Edward IlL and his 
eldest son, the victors of Cressy and Poitiers, 
whose glorious forms often pass in review 
before our entranced imaginations, were the 
familiar friends of Chaucer, and were equally 


cHAPxv. known to him in their proudest stretch of 
thought, and in their plainest and most un- 
disguised moments. 

His em- Chauccr was an ambassador. He is afiirm- 


ed by Froissart to have been a principal in the 
unsuccessful attempt to negotiate a marriage 
for Richard prince of Wales with a daughter 
of France. This situation must have afforded 
him an ample opportunity of observing the 
temper of courts, the tricks of ministers, and 
the prejudices and prepossessions of kings. 
Hispubiic Chaucer was a minister. His place was 
Ssm that of comptroller of the customs. His office 
was probably by the water side, amidst all 
the bustle and confusion of trade. Trade was 
in a considerable degree the passion of his 
age, for at this time Venice, Genoa and Lon- 
don were powerful cities, made so by the 
operation of commerce. The comptroller of 
the customs was enjoined to keep the accounts 
of his employment with his own hand. 
Chaucer was seldom absent from the duties 
of his place, for we find a leave of absence to 
him for a month formally recorded upon the 
Patent Rolls, and only one such leave of ab- 


sence has yet been observed. He tells us him- 
self that he had no opportunity for the plea- 
sures of study, till he " had made an end 
of all his reckonings," and the business of 
the day was concluded. This lasted twelve 

Chaucer was a patriot. He never even in His patriotic 


thought departed from his allegiance to the 
grandson of his first benefactors. But he bit- 
terly deplored the evil habits that prince had 
contracted, and the pernicious counsellors into 
whose hands he had fallen. He saw them 
plotting at once the destruction of the man in 
the world to whom he was himself bound by 
the most complicated ties, and the ruin of 
the liberties of the metropolis of which he 
was a native, and which was dependent for all 
its distinctions upon the permanence of those 
liberties. He embarked his all in resistance 
to their machinations. 

Chaucer was an exile and a prisoner. He His exik 

and impri- 

was fated to experience the vicissitudes of sonment. 
human life. He paid in this instance the debt 
for which we are all of us in some manner 
called upon, to the condition of our ter- 


cHAPLv . restrial existence ; and he gained that know- 
ledge, and those wholsome impressions, which 
are seldom gained but through the operation 
of adversity. In his exile he was nearly de- 
stitute of all the comforts and conveniences 
of life ; and in his imprisonment he witnessed 
the savage triumph of the unrelenting Thomas 
of Woodstock, and perhaps saw from his 
window the victims whom that usurper was 
daily dragging to execution. 

The terms upon which he was liberated 
from his confinement after five years of op- 
pression and difficulty, are such as no admirer 
of Chaucer will with pleasure contemplate. 

Reinstated Upou his rcstoratiou to liberty Chaucer 
was appointed clerk of the works, an office 
on many accounts more agreeable to him than 
his former place of comptroller of the cus- 
toms. He occupied this situation however 
only for a short time. 

Retires to Bciug now morc than sixty years of age, 
stock. he retired to his favourite residence of Wood- 
stock. He was tired of business and of 
courts, and wished to enjoy the pleasures of 
privacy and nature. He did not however 


retire to a life of indolence. As he had begun 

his literary career early, so he finished it late. 

In a green and vigorous old age he planned 

and undertook the Canterbury Tales. One 

of the most extraordinary specimens of active 

genius and various talent which England has 

produced, thus appears to have been the fruit 

of a period of life, when common men think 

themselves excused from further exertion. 

Chaucer was probably satisfied with his Removes 
'- •' to Don- 

modest roof at Woodstock. The Canterbury nin-ton. 

Tales may be seen to have been the pro- 
duction of a serene, a cheerful and contented 
mind, buffeted by the world, but not broken, 
and carrying off from ail its defeatures and 
misadventures whatever is most valuable in 
iiian. Yet he was not so contented with 
Woodstock, as to be incapable of being- 
tempted to leave it. John of Gaunt at this 
time married Chaucer's kinswoman ; and he 
told the poet that now, being nearly allied to 
royalty, he must change the style in which he 
had hitherto lived. Chaucer consented. An 
ancient castle opened its ample gates, and 
spread out itb spacious apartments, to receive 


CHAP.I.V. him as its inhabitant. Chaucer brought hither 

the same gay and well-tempered mind which 

had accompanied him through life : he sat 

under his own oaks, and in a truly social 

spirit named them after his benefactors and 


Behaviour Quc evcut ouly was rcscrved for the con- 
on the ac- 

cess.Miof eluding; scene of the life of Chaucer. His 

Henry IV. <-* 

sovereign was deposed, and the son of John 
of Gaunt usurped the throne. Chaucer's 
conduct on this occasion is highly worthy of 
our praise. He did not oppose the usurper ; 
he did not wish to involve his country in 
further broils. He was too old and too 
retired, to be able to flatter himself that he 
could contribute to redress the wrongs he 
deplored. But all the benefits of the new 
sovereign, and all his old connections with 
and obligations to the father of that sovereign, 
could not extort from him a line of con- 
Kis death, Chauccr died easily and happily as he lived ; 
and, if the verses he is said to have written 
on his death-bed were actually his, they may 
be regarded as a very extraordinary exhibition 


of a serene and collected mind in the last chap lv. 
period of existence. If he were a lover of """^ 
greatness, he might be satisfied with the high 
rank of his wife's relations, and his ov/n 
nearness to the throne. If he felt anxious 
for the future prosperity of his offspring and 
descendants, he must have been pleased with 
the situation and prospects of his son, who 
was, in the year after his father's death, chosen 
speaker of the house of commons. The re- 
mains of Chaucer were interred in the repo- 
sitory of our kings, and the place hallowed 
by his dust has ever since been considered as 
the resting-place of poets. 

The placid and gentle character of Chaucer piadd and 
IS conspicuous in all his works. In this re- dispo- 

.1 • sition of 

spect there is a striking resemblance between chancer. 
him and Shakespear. That genius, whose 
creative mind soared above all human com- 
petition, who could enter into all the pe- 
culiarities of man, and personate all his 
-passions, was himself characterised by a tem- 
per peculiarly equable and serene. With an 
intellect incessantly active, wandering amidst 
the imaginary inhabitants of earth and sea 


CHAP Lv. and air, and every day engendering new mi-» 
^racles to astonish mankind, he perpetually 
retained his true bias, and rested upon his 
proper centre. It is perhaps distinctive of a 
genius of the first order, to perform his great- 
est wonders without that straining, agitation 
and effort, that are incident to minds to which 
the production of any thing above the ordi- 
nary level is a matter of difficulty. 

His love of The customarv cheerfulness and serenity of 

cheerful ^ ' ^ ^ •' ^ 

scenery, the mind of Chaucer is particularly conspi- 
cuous in his delineations of nature. They 
all take their hue from the mind of the be- 
holder, and are gay, animated and fresh. He 
usually sets out upon his walk early in the 
morning, when the world has been refreshed 
by repose, when the grass is impearled with 
dew, and when the delicious scents of field 
and tree and flower are yet unpolluted by the 
beams of the flaring sun. Many instances of 
the beauty of Chaucer's landscapes we have 
already had occasion to cite. Its sweetness 
intrudes itself into his most sorrowful com- 
positions. It soothes in his elegy upon the 
death of the princess Blanche, and it breaks 


forth with peculiar lustre in his Complaint of, 
the Black Knight. One exquisite example 
of this feature of the poet's rriind it may be 
worth while to add from the poem of the 
Cuckow and the Nightingale, written when 
he was " old and unlusty ^j" and addressed^ 
like the Legende of Gdde Women, to Anne 
of Bohemia, who appears at this time to have 
resided at Woodstock ^ The poet is desirous 
of hearing the song of the nightingale, which 
yet he had not " herde of al that yere/* 
though it was already " the thirde of May." 
For this purpose he sets out " anon as he the' 
day aspide" ; 

And unto a wodde that was fast^ by 

I wente forthe alon6 boldely. 

And helde the way dowtie by a brok6 side ; 

Til I came to a ^ launde of white and grene, 
So faire an one had I never in bene ; 
The grounde was grene, ypoudred with da:isye, 
The floureis and the "^ grev^s alike hie, 
Al grene and white was nothing ell^s sene^ 

ver. 58^ 

' ver.37. " ver. 274. *= lawn. "^ groves, bushes - 


ns LIFE OF CHAUCER. The sweetness of Chaucer's character may 

Further also be inferred from his long friendship with 

the excel- Gowcr, and from the circumstance of his 

lence of his ^ r> • i • r 

disposition, drawing up toward the close of his life a 
treatise of astronomy for the use of a boy of 
ten years. But a circumstance still more sin- 
gular and worthy of recollection, when we 
are summing up his character, is that of his 
being eight years suitor to a lady, probably 
the same whom he afterward married. A 
number of traits of disposition may be de- 
duced from this anecdote. It could never have 
belonged to a person of a fiery and hot- 
brained temperament; it could never have 
belonged to a man dissipated, fickle and in- 
constant. Such things have been related of 
persons of feeble understanding and emas- 
culate character. But, in a man of Chaucer's 
force, it marks only persistive choice, a pur* 
suit, not easily repressed, yet not breaking out 
into extravagances, a character undebauched 
and sincere, and a loye deeply grounded in 
the most permanent qualities of the mind. 
His con. Chauccr was a man of a frank and easy 

versation ^ r 111 • 1 

in Friday tempcr, undeiormed by haughtiness and re- 

Streer. ^ J o 


jserve, and readily entering into a certain 
degree of social intercourse on trivial oc- 
casions. This particular is strongly confirmed 
to us by the curious record of his testimony 
in the cause of arms between Scrope and 
Grosvenor. He describes himself as walking 
in Friday Street in the city of London, and 
observing there the arms which he had al- 
ways seen borne by the family of Scrope, 
hung out as a sign. This inconsiderable cir- 
cumstance immediately excites an interest in 
the patriarch of the English language and of 
English poetry* The Scropes were his 
friends. He accosts a stranger whom he 
perceives accidentally standing byj and asks, 
What inn is that, which I observe has hung 
out i:he arms of Scrope for its sign ? — Nay^ 
replied the other, it is no inn, nor are those 
the arms of Scrope ; they are the shield of 
a Cheshire family of the name of Grosvenor* 
' — ^In Chaucer, the thus addressing himself to 
a person unknown, is no evidence of a vulgar, 
indelicate and undiscriminating mind. It 
shows that he was a character, not fastidious 
Enough to refuse to interest itself in trifles, 

N 2 

180 LIFE OF CHAUCEK. and frank, even and affable, in his intercourse 

with mankind. 
Convivial Chauccr was a man of convivial dispo- 

temper of *■ 

Chaucer, gitions. This has reasonably been concluded 
from the grant he received of a pitcher, or 
what we should now call four bottles of wine 
daily from the royal cellar. It may fairly be 
inferred that this wine was designed for the 
poet's daily consumption. 

His pro- Chaucer was a man of expensive habits, 

pensityto . . 

expence. aud 01 uo vcry rigid pecuniary economy and 
foresight. This may be concluded from his 
frequent embarrassments. Immediately after 
the loss of his place of comptroller of the 
customs, which he had held for twelve years, 
and in which he had " richesse suffisauntly 
to weive nede, and in delicious houres was 
wont to enjoy blisful stoundes," he found 
himself in great poverty. " His worldly 
godes were fulliche dispente." On his re- 
storation to favour, he obtained the perhaps 
equally lucrative place of clerk of the works. 
He resigned this office, and retired to Wood- 
stock ; yet no sooner was he settled there, 
and engaged in writing his Canterbury Tales, 


than it became necessary that he should solicit 
another pension. When any of his patrons, 
John of Gaunt, Anne of Bohemia, or Henry 
IV, are desirous of demonstrating their kind- 
ness to him, the first thing thought of is a 
further pecuniary provision. 

But Chaucer was not less fond of study Hisioveof 


than of convivial intercourse. There is 
scarcely one of his longer poems in which 
this feature of his character is not incidentally 
mentioned. He reads in bed % In the Par- 
liament of Birds, he had been reading all day 
long, and it is only when the light fails him, 
that he falls asleep, and has the dream which 
he proceeds to relate. And in the House of 
Fame, the eagle tells him, 

w hen thy labour al done is. 
And hast made al thy reckeninges, 
In stede of reste and of newe thinges, 
Thou sittest at another boke, 
Tyl fully dased is thy loke. 

Book II, ver. 144, 

Boke of the Duchesse^ ver. 47. 

His tend- 
ency to- 
ward en- 

182 LIFE OF CHAUCER. Chaucer was a man of an enthusiastic 
turn of mind. This may well be inferred 
from the journey he appears to have made, 
when already forty-six years old, and em- 
ployed in affairs of state, across the peninsula 
of Italy, that he might have the pleasure of 
seeing and conversing with Petrarca. 

His person. j^et US add to thcse features pf the personal 
character of Chaucer, his description of his 
own figure at the time when he was writing 
the Canterbury Tales. 

Our hoste to ^japen he began, — ■ 
And saied thus : What man art thou ? quod 

Thou lokest as thou woldest finde an hare. 
For ever on the ground I see thee stare. 

Approch6 nere, and loke up merily ! — 
Now ware ye, ? sires, and let this man haye 

place ! 
He ^ in the waste is shap'n as well as I : 
This were a ■ popet in an arme to' enhrace 
For any woman smal and faire of face. 

^ gibe. ® sirs. ^ is as fat as a landlord. 

' poppet, povpie, Fr. 


He semetli ^ elvish by his contenance, 

For unto no wight doth he ^ daliance. — — 

ver. 13623. 

With the poetical character of Chaucer we Literaiy 
have more concern than with his personal otchau* 
qualities. It is because his works live, that 
we are curious about his dispositions and 
habits. If it be true, which paradoxical men 
have affirmed, and envious men have vouched 
for, that the persons who have made the 
greatest figure among their fellows are not 
the persons of greatest merit, and that many 
who have not unfolded their talents to the 
world, have been both abler and more vir- 
tuous than those we are accustomed to ad- 
mire, it would yet be impossible to interest us 
much about such characters. Men of high 
qualities, but who refuse the discovery of 
their qualities, if such there be, must be con- 
tented to be worshipped by the whimsical 

* fairy-like, humoursome, mischievous. 
' offices of courtesy. 


CHA.P.LV. only, and to be regarded with indifference by 

the rest of their species, 
pis smaller The Canterbury Tales is the rreat basis of 

pieces. "' c5 

the fame of Chaucer, and indolent men have 
generally expressed themselves with contempt 
of the rest of his works as unworthy of at- 
tention. The enquiries in which we have 
been engaged have led us frequently to refer- 
to his smaller pieces, nor has our love of 
poetry come away from the pursuit unre- 
warded. Many passages of exquisite thinking 
9,nd fancy have been recited. He indeed 
who wishes to become personally acquainted 
with Chaucer, must of necessity have re- 
course to his minor pieces. The Canterbury 
Tales are too full of business, variety, charac- 
ter and action, to permit the writer in any 
great degree to show himself. It is in Chau- 
cer's minor pieces that we discover his love 
of rural scenery, his fondness for study, the 
cheerfulness of his temper, his weaknesses 
and his strength, and the anecdotes of his life, 
ifis Troiius The Troilus and Creseide in particular, that 
seide. poem of which sir Philip Sidney speaks with 
§0 much delight, though deficient in action, 


cannot be too much admired for the suavity 
and gentleness of nature which it displays. 
There is nothing in it to move the rougher 
passions of our nature, no hatred, nor con- 
tempt, nor indignation, nor revenge. If its per- 
sonages are unstudied in the refinements of 
artificial and systematic virtue, even their 
vices (if such we denominate them) are loving 
and gentle and undesigning and kind. All the 
milder and more delicate feelings of the soul 
are displayed in their history, and displayed 
in a manner which none but a poet of the 
purest and sweetest dispositions, and at the 
same time of the greatest discrimination, 
could have attained. 

The Canterbury Tales is certainly one of HisCanter, 
the most extraordinary monuments of human "'^',./ "' 

/ splendid 

genius. The splendour of the Knightes Tale, J^g^.^^'J"^ 
and the various fancy exhibited in that of the ''^'™: 

■^ pathetic. 

Squier, have never been surpassed. The hi- 
story of Patient Grisildis is the most pathetic 
that ever was written ; and he who compares 
Chaucer's manner of relating it, with that of 
the various authors who have treated the same 
materials, must be dead to all the charac^ 

186 LIFE OF CHAUCER. tenstic beauties of this history, if he does not 
perceive how much Chaucer has outstripped 
all his competitors. 

rich in the What infinite variety of character is pre^ 

delineation ■' 

ofmanners. scutcd to US iu the Prologuc to thc Canter- 
bury Tales ! It is a copious and extensive 
review of the private life of the fourteenth 
century in England. 

This has usually, and perhaps justly, been 
thought the most conspicuous excellence of 
Chaucer ; his power of humour, of delineat- 
ing characters, and of giving vivacity and 
richness to comic incidents. 

deficient in Unhappily the age in which he lived was 
deficient in that nicety of moral apprehension 
and taste, upon which is built the no con- 
temptible science of elegant manners and de- 
corum. It has been said that men must have 
become debauched and consummate in their 
vices, before they can be masters in this 
science. This however is not true. There 
are no doubt various modes of expression, 
which will excite a prurient sport in the 
minds of the dissolute, and yet will be ut- 
tered with the most unapprehensive simplicity 


by the inexperienced and innocent ; discri- 
mination respecting these can only be the" ^ 
result of a certain familiarity with vice. But 
neither will these by the virtuous mind be 
regarded as almost any fault, even when dis- 
covered. But the licentiousness and coarseness 
of the tales of the twelfth and thirteenth cen- 
turies, copied by Boccaccio and Chaucer, are 
of a different sort ; they are absolute cor- 
|-uption and depravity. The progress of re- 
finement does not merely make men fastidious 
in their vices ; it makes them in many re- 
spects more virtuous and innocent : it not 
only prompts us to conceal some vices, but 
also induces us peremptorily and resolutely 
to abjure many. 
''■ The Milleres Tale and the Reves Tale in p^^^,. 


cer m 


Chaucer are filthy, vulgar and licentious, orchl"! 
The Tale of the Marchant, and the Wif of 
Bathes Prologue, are in an eminent degree 
liable to the last of these accusations. Yet 
it has been truly observed that Chaucer never 
appears more natural, his style never flows 
more easily, and his vein is never more un- 
affected and copious, than on these occasions. 

18S LIFE OF CHAUCER. j^q writer, either ancient or modern, can be 
cited, who excels our poet in the talent for 
comic narrative. The reader of the most 
correct taste, though offended with Chaucer 
for the choice of his topics, will peruse these 
divisions of his work again and again, for the 
sake of the eloquence and imagination they 
display. The story of the Cock and the 
Fox, called the Nonnes Preestes Tale, is the 
most admirable fable that ever was written, 
if the excellence of a fable consists in live- 
liness of painting, in the comic demureness 
with' which human sentiments are made to 
fall from the lips of animals, or in the art' of 
framing a consummate structure from the 
slightest materials. The Sompnoures Tale, 
though exceedingly offensive for the clownish 
joke with which it is terminated, is equal in 
its opening and preparatory circumstances to 
any satirical narrative that ever was penned. 
The entrance of the friar into the house of 
the sick man, his driving away the sleeping 
cat from the bench he thought proper to 
occupy, the manner in which he lays down 
his walking-stick, his scrip and his hat, and 


the conversation which follows, are all in the 
most exquisite stile of comic delmeation. 

To understand more precisely the degree Principal 
of applause which is due to Chaucer, it is modem 


proper that we should distinguish between 
two principal schools in the poetry of modern 
European nations, the romantic, and the 
natural. On the first revival of poetry, the The re- 
minds of men perhaps universally took a bent 
toward the former ; we had nothing but Row- 
lands and Arthurs, sir Guys and sir Tristrams, 
and Paynim and Christian knights. There 
was danger that nature would be altogether 
shut out from the courts of Apollo. The 
senses of barbarians are rude, and require a 
strong and forcible impulse to put them in 
motion. The first authors of the humorous The bur. 
and burlesque tales of modern times were ^^^'^^' 
perhaps sensible of this error in the romance 
writers, and desirous to remedy it. But they 
frequently fell into an opposite extreme, and 
that from the same cause. They deliver us 
indeed from the monotony produced by the 
perpetual rattling of armour, the formality 
of processions and tapestry and cloth of gold, 


CHAP Lv. and the eternal straining after supernatural 
adventures. But they lead us into squalid 
scenes, the coarse buffoonery of the ale-hoUse, 
and the offensive manners engendered by 
dishonesty and intemperance. Between the 
one and the other of these classes of poetry, 
we may find things analogous to the wild 
and desperate toys of Salvator Rosa, and to 
the boors of Teniers, but nothing that should 
remind us of the grace of Guido, or of the 
soft and simple repose of Claude Lorraine. 

The na- Thc Decameroue of Boccaccio seems to be 

the first work of modern times, which was 
written entirely on the principle of a style, 
simple, unaffected and pure. Chaucer, who 
wrote precisely at the same period, was the 
fellow-labourer of Boccaccio. He has de- 
clared open war against the romance manner 
in his Rime of Sire Thopas. His Canterbury 
Tales are written with an almost perpetual 
homage to nature. The Troilus and Cre- 
seide, though a tale of ancient times, treats 
almost solely of the simple and genuine emo- 
tions of the human heart. 

The allege- Many however of the works of Chaucer 



must be confessed to be written in a bad 
taste, fashionable in the times in which he 
lived, but which the better judgment of later 
ages has rejected. The poem called Chaucer's 
Dreme is in the idlest and weakest style of 
Romance. Nothing can be more frivolous 
than the courtship of his male and female 
eagles in the Parliament of Birds. The idea 
of the worship of the daisy must be acknow- 
ledged to be full of affectation. A continued 
vein of allegory is always effeminate, strained 
and unnatural. This error, so far as relates 
to the Romaunt of the Rose, is only indi- 
rectly imputable to Chaucer. But, in the 
Testament of Love, and elsewhere, he has 
made it the express object of his choice. 

Boccaccio and Chaucer, it might be sup- ^^f^^^^^^ 
posed, would have succeeded in banishing |Je^ag"s 
the swelling and romantic style from the queS'to 
realms of poetry. We might have imagined 
that as knowledge and civilisation grew, the 
empire of nature would have continually 
become more firmly established. But this 
was not the case. These eminent writers rose 
too high beyond their contemporaries, and 

;93 LIFE OF CHAUCER., reached to refinements that their successors 
could not understand. Pulci and Boiardo 
took the romantic style under their pro- 
tection in the following century ; and, by the 
splendour of their talents, and the treasures 
of their fancy, bestowed upon it extensive 
and lasting empire^ We have seen how 
Ronsard, Du Bellay and Du Bartas corrupted 
the poetical taste of France. In Italy Ariosto 
and Tasso adopted, and carried to perfection 
the style of Pulci and Boiardo. Taste and 
literature had made no advances in England 
in the fifteenth century ; and, in the sixteenth 
and early part of the seventeenth, gur coun- 
trymen resorted for models principally to 
Italy. The earl of Surry and his contem* 
poraries were the introducers of the Italian 
school in this island. Spenser in his Faerie 
Queen combined at once all the imperfections 
of the allegorical and the romantic. Even 
the transcendent genius of Milton formed 
itself upon these originals ; and, however 
we may adore the wonders of his invent 
tion, impartial criticism must acknowledge 
that he studied much in the school of 


the artificial, the colossal and the v/ild, and 
little in that of nature. 

It is incumbent upon us however not to Merits of 

the roraan- 

treat the romantic style with too undiscri- fc style. 
minating a severity. The fault was in think- 
ing this the only style worthy of an elevated 
genius, or in thinking it the best. It has its 
appropriate and genuine recommendations. 
It is lofty, enthusiastic, and genial and che- 
rishing to the powers of imagination. Perhaps 
every man of a truly poetical mind will be 
the better for having passed a short period 
in this school. And it may further safely be contrasted 
affirmed, that every man of a truly poetical of the 

. 1 . . burlesque. 

mind, who was reduced to make his choice 
between the school of coarse, burlesque and 
extravagant humour, such as that of Hudibras 
for example, and the school of extravagant 
heroism and chivalry, such as that of Tasso, 
^ould decide for the latter. The first chills 
and contracts, as it were, the vessels and 
alleys of the heart, and leaves us with a 
painful feeling of self-degradation. The se- 
cond expands and elevates the soul, and fills 
the mind of the reader with generous pride, 



C HAP Lv. complacence in the powers he feels, and a 
warm and virtuous ardour to employ them 
for the advantage of others. 

The natural It is time that we should quit the consider- 

style re- , , n 

stored oy atiou of thcse two less p;lorious spheres of 

Shake- ° ^ 

spear. humau gcnius, and turn back to the temple 
of Nature, where Shakespear for ever stands 
forth the high priest and the sovereign. The 
portraits drawn by those who have studied 
with success in her school, are dishonoured 
by being called portraits ; they are themselves 
originals above all exception or challenge. 
The representations drawn in the romantic or 
the burlesque style may be to a great degree 
faithful exhibitions of what has actually ex-^- 
isted ; but, if they are, at least they exhibit 
a nature, vitiated, distorted, and, so to express 
the idea, denaturalised. The artificial and; 
preconcerted is only shown, and those fainter 
and evanescent touches by which every man 
betrays the kind to which he belongs are lost, 
The portraits of Shakespear, on the other, 
hand, abound in, and may almost be said to 
be made up of these touches. In his characters, 
■vve see the habits and prejudices of the man,- 


and see, as throiigh a transparent medium, 
how every accident that befals him acts upon 
his habits, his prejudices, and upon those 
passions which are common to us ail. How 
precisely is this the case with Justice Shallow I 
How completely are the starts and sallies of 
Hotspur, his repetitions, the torrent of his 
anger, his fiery temper, and his images drawn 
often from the most familiar and ordinary life, 
—how completely are they the very man that 
the poet desired to present to us ! Shakespear 
does not describe, he does seem to imagine 
the personages of his scene ; he waves his 
magic wand, and the personages themselves 
appear, and act over again at his command 
the passions, the impressions, and the sor- 
rows of their former life. The past is present 
before us. 

What comes nearest to the preeminence 
of Shakespear is the Don Quixote of Cer- 
vantes, the Sir Roger de Coverley of Addison, 
the Lovelace of Richardson, the Parson 
Adams of Fielding, the Walter Shandy of 
Sterne, and the Hugh Strap of Smollet. 
Fletcher also, tliough perhaps his most con- 

o 2 

196 LIFE OF CHAUCER. spicuous merits are of another sort, has great 
excellence in the animating of character, aS 
will readily be discerned, particularly in his 
Wit Without Money, and his Little French 

The successive description of the several 
pilgrims in the Prologue to the Canterbury 
Tales, is worthy to class with these. No 
writer has ever exhibited so great a variety 
of talent in so short a compass, as Chaucer- 
has done in this instance, 

Knnk to The place which any author of works of 

Chaucer, as imagmation shall occupy in the scale of merit 

poet, be- 
longs, con- and genius, depends upon two circumstances, 

the merit of his poems, and the merit of the 

Must be poet. The first of these is of the greatest 

tried by . _ , 

the abso- importance. He who aspires to»a permanent 

lute merits . -i n r r i 

of his station upon ttie roils or tame, ought to ex- 

works. '11 

pect to be tried by a naked and absolute com- 
parison of his productions with those of other 
men, without taking into the consideration 
the superior advantages other men may have 
enjoyed, of language, of fortune, of freedom, 
of information, of scenery to generate a ipo-^' 
etic^l character, or of Jiving models to excite 


emulation, which to him may have been 
denied. The reader has to do, strictly speak- 
ing, with the work only, and not with the 
man. His enquiry is into the invention, the 
fancy, the sentiments and the style ; and, i£ 
an author tenders to him apologies and reasons 
why he could not exceed a certain degree of 
merit in these, this may relieve such an author 
from the harshness of condemnation, but can 
never obtain for his performance the stamp 
of applause. It may be true that the verses of 
Stephen Duck the thresher, or of the blind 
bard of Scotland, were extraordinary under 
the circumstances in which they were written, 
but a rigorous judge, placed upon the bench 
of criticism, would answer, " Do not tell me 
whether the writer of the productions you 
offer could spell or could see : I am only 
concerned to know whether the lines them- 
selves are sublime, or pathetic, rich in fancy, 
, or sweet and seductive with native sim- 

Yet, a writer may lose something of the nd by the 


applause which seems due to him, by the stances 

* ^ under 

operation of extrinsic circumstances ; and *'^''''' 

198' LIFE OF CHAUCER. therefore it appears but just that he should be 
they ^ permitted to gam something from the same 
* cause. It is the first man who produces an 
excellent epic, ode or tragedy, that ever en- 
grosses our principal admiration ; and another 
who composes something only just as good, 
will infallibly be much less respected, com- 
mended, or read. The first is in possession 
of the ear and the favour of the public, and 
it is a most difficult task to deprive him of 
the honourable station he has gained. 

inserest Nay, tliough it should be determined that 

tvlikh the 

reader of ihc circumstauces under which a work of 

taste wii! 

fee! m xrenius was written couid never be admitted 
circum- jjg matter of plea in the courts of criticism, 
they would neverthekss be always topics of 
interesting research. He must be indeed a 
rigid and cold critic, who, from approving 
the productions of the muse, does not pro- 
ceed to entertain some love for the author. 
■And, from the moment when that is the case, 
every difficulty with which he struggled, and 
every obstacle which he surmounted^ becomes 
a darling subject of contem.plation to his ad- 
oiiirer. The reader of soul proceeds, from 


esleem of the work, to friendship, sympathy 
and correspondence with the author. If he 
wrote in an obscure and barbarous age, if 
he had none but the worst models before him 
to copy, if, in addition to all the other labours 
of the poet, he had a language to construct 
in which to express his conceptions, or if 
he were the first to invent a species of poe- 
tical composition unknown before, all these 
are considerations inexpressibly interesting to 
his admirer. 

The history of the poet too, as of any other Their value 

I ^ I . ■.. , . in the his- 

man by whom what is extraordmary has been toryofthe 

achieved, is a valuable section in the science mind. 

of human nature. That such works as the 

Iliad or the dramas of Shakespear have in 

-any way been the produce of human intel- 

:ligence is an important fact But the wonder, 

.and the degree of power displayed in any 

-monument of literature, will often be greatly 

enhanced, when we come to be acquainted 

; with the circumstances under which it was 

■ erected. I want, not only to observe the 

beauty and solidity of the edifice beiore me. 


CHAP Lv. but also to understand the materials with. 

which it is built. 
These ob- Let US applv these principles to the writings 

servations i. x j x x. o 

applied to Qf Chaucer. His best works, his Canterbury 

Chaucer. ' ■' 

Tales in particular, have an absolute merit, 
which stands in need of no extrinsic accident 
to show it to advantage, and no apology to 
-atone for its concomitant defects. They class 
with whatever is best in the poetry of any 
country or any age. Yet when we further 
recollect that they were written in a remote 
and semi-barbarous age, that Chaucer had 
to a certain degree to create a language, or 
to restore to credit a language which had 
been sunk into vulgarity and contempt by 
being considered as a language of slaves, that 
history and the knowledge of past ages ex- 
isted only in unconnected fragments, and that 
his writings, stupendous as we find them, 
are associated, as to the period of their pro- 
duction, with the first half- assured Jispings oJ? 
civilisation and the muse, the astonishment 
and awe with which we regard the great 
father of English poetry must be exceedingly 


increased, and the lover of human nature and 
of intellectual power will deem no time mis- 
spelt that adds to his familiar acquaintance 
with the history of such a man, or with 
writings so produced. 



No. I. 



Gteffray Chaucere Esquier, del age de xl 
ans et plus, armeez par xxvij ans, produit puT" 
la partie de mons. Richard Lescrope, jurrez et 
examinez : 


Demandez, si les armeez dazure ove une bende 
dor apperteignent, ou deyvent apperteigner, 
au dit mons. Richard du droit et de heritage, 
' dist. 

Que oil ; qar il lez ad veu estre armeez en 
Fraunce devant la ville de Retters, et mons. 
Henry Lescrope armoz en mesmes les armeez 
ove un label blanc et a baner, et le dit mons. 
Richard armeez en les entiers armez dazure 
ove line bende dor, et issint il lez vist anner 
par tout le dit viage, tanque le dit Geffrey 
estoit pris : 

Demandez, par qei il sciet que les ditz armeez 
apperteignent au dit mons. Richard, dist. 

Que par oy dire des veux chivalers et esquiers, 
et quils ount toutdys continuez lor possession 
en les ditz armeez, et par tout son temps pur 
lour armeez reputeez com commune fame et 
publike vois laboure et ad labouree; et auxi 
il dist que quant il ad veu les ditz armes en 
banere, en verrures, en peyntures, en vestem- 
entz, communement appellez lez armes de 
Lescrope : 

Demandez, sil oiast unques parler quele 
estoit le primer auncestre du dit mons. Ri- 
chard, qi portast primerment les ditz amiez, 


Que noun ; ne qil ne oiast unqs autre mes 
qils estoient venuz de veille auncestre et de 
dez veulx gentils liommes et occupiez lez ditz 
armez : 

Demandez, sil oiast unqueo parler come long 
temps que les auncestres du dit mons. Richard 
cunt usez les ditz armes, dist, 

Que noun ; mes com il ad oy dire qil passe 
le memoir de home : 

Demandez, sil oiast unques dascun inter- 
ruption ou chalange fait par mons. Robert 
Grovenor, ou par cez auncestres^ ou par ascun 
en son noun, al dit mons. Richard^ ou a ascun 
de cez auncestres, dist, 

Que noun ; mes il dist qil estoit une* foitz , 
en Friday Strete en Loundres, com il alast en 
la rewe il vist pendant hors un novell signe 
faitz dez diz armez, et demandast quele her- 
bergerie ceo estoit qui avoit pendu hors cestez 
amies du Scrop, et un autr luy respondist et 
dit, Neuyl, seigneur, ils ne sount niys penduz 
hors pour lez armez de Scrope, ne depeyntez 
la por cez armeez, mes ils sount depeyntez et 
mys la por une chivaler del counte de Chestre, 
que homme appelle mons. Robert Grovenor; 
et ceo fuist le primer foitz que oonqes il oiast 


parler de mons. Robert Grovenor, ou de cez 
auncestres, ou de ascun autre portant le noun 
de Grovenor. 

Rotulus processus in curia jnilitari in causa 
armorum inter Ricardum Le Scrape 
chevalier, et RGbertum Grosvenor die- 
valier. 13 Ric. 2. Infer Miscellanea 
in Turri Londinensi. 


No. II, p. 283, Vo]. I. 


1 H E representations of the features of our 
ancestors, the English who, whether by arts 
or arms, distinguished themselves in past ages, 
have naturally become an object of research 
and curiosity to their descendants. Various 
engravers have endeavoured to gratify this 
curiosity, or to improve this instinctive sen- 
timent to their own emolument ; in particular 
two artists of no ordinary merit, Vertue and 
Houbraken. The sources to which they have 
resorted for hints for their imitations are va- 
rious ; coins, seals, monuments, illuminations, 
and paintings upon board. 

The result however has been supposed by 
many of the best judges to contribute more to 
the entertainment of our fancy, and the plea- 
sure of luxurious idleness, than to genuine 
vox,. IV. ^ 


and true delineations of men who for cen- 
turies have been consigned to the tomb. Every 
man of feeling and taste would be glad to be 
enabled to contemplate the features of Alfred, 
of Thomas of Becket, of Roger Bacon or of 
Wicliffe ; but no man of sound intellect would 
wish to be deceived in the attempt to gratify 
this desire. 
^ Careful observers will readily confess that 

the portraits even of our illustrious contem- 
poraries very imperfectly represent in many 
cases the persons from whom they were paint- 
ed. Of the paintings of the best of our living 
artists, nine out of ten may be affirmed to 
be '^ similitudes unhke." To this purpose 
I may quote two sentiments which I have 
frequently heard from artists of considerable 
endowments: first, that no painter can put into 
the visages he draws more profoundness of 
thought, flexibility of fancy, or animation of 
soul, than exist in his own mind ; and secondly, 
that the portraits made by any artist, exhibit, 
as strikingly, and as much beyond question, 
certain qualities of his own mind, as of the 
persons they pretend to represent ; the coun- 
tenances painted by a man of affected manners 
will look affected, by a man of a hard mind 


will appear rugged and stern, of a dull cha- 
racter dull, and of a remiss and versatile 
temper remiss and versatile. If such be the 
case in times when the art of picture exists 
in considerable perfection, what can be ex- 
pected from the delineations of our remoter 
ancestors ? 

This sort of scepticism deserves however 
to be received with some qualification. As I 
would not break a looking-glass, because a 
looking-glass always gives a subdued and wa- 
tery image of the objects placed before it ; so 
neither would I set aside or despise the art of 
painting on account of those imperfections 
from which it can never be freed. The man 
who can find in the portrait of sir Thomas 
More by Holbein, of Paul III. by Titian, or 
of lord Strafford by A-'andyke, no food for con- 
templation, no instrument enabling him with 
a certain degree of truth and satisfaction to 
place before him, as the persons of his fancy, 
the old acquaintances of his shelves, and to 
read in some measure the mind of him who 
acted, and of him who spoke, in his repre- 
sentative, must be composed of singular ma- 

The hints which we possess for the portraits 
P 2 


of th« ancient English are extremely imperfect. 
Their coins are of the rudest and poorest 
structure. • Their seals often present to us a 
figure, with the limbs of a spider, rather than 
of a man ; and the seal of one king was not 
unfrequently employed by his successor, with 
scarcely any alteration, but that of the in- 
scription. The paintings upon board, of these 
early centuries, are for the most part daubings, 
worthy of the sign-post of a village ale-house. 
And the illuminations in ancient manuscripts, 
the most finished and delicate productions of 
this sort we possess, can scarcely ever be sup- 
posed to be drawn from the life. 

The best representations of our ancestors in 
these remote ages are their figures in marble, 
in alabaster or in stone, placed upon their 
tombs. At the time when, as we have seen, 
the art of building was so assiduously cul- 
tivated, particularly from the reign of Henry 
III. inclusive, the figures and countenances 
exhibited in monumental statuary are much 
better, than the contemptuous and exclusive 
spirit of modern times would make us willing 
to acknowledge. No test in this respect can 
be more worthy of regard, than the feeling 
which inevitably rises in the mind of a well 


informed spectator, when he sees a figure void 
of insipidity, and pervaded with character, or 
when he confesses by an immediate sentiment, 
This is a real countenance, and has somewhere 
had an actual counterpart, never indeed seen 
by me, amoag the living individuals of the 
human species. Tombs have also this advan- 
tage over every other class of imitative repre- 
sentations, that we can in most cases trace the 
period at which they were erected, and are 
scarcely liable to be imposed on by forgeries. 

The portraits of Henry III, and of Eleanor 
of Provence his queen, which are engraved in 
Mr. Gough's Sepulchral Monuments from their 
tombs in Westminster Abbey, are fully entitled 
to the praise of having been carved in a re- 
spectable style, and of bearing an internal 
evidence of likeness and reality. Eleanor of 
Provence was so handsome, that she is said to 
have furnished to various artists of that period 
a model for their Madonas. The figure of 
king John, Avhich is placed upon his tomb in 
Worcester cathedral, is said to be entitled to 
the'same praise. The portraits of Edward III. 
and his queen Philippa upon their tombs have 
great excellence; and a similar judgment may 


be pronounced of many which belong to this 

The paintings on board, of the same period 
are by no means entitled to equal commend- 
ation. The greatest part of them are wretched 
daubings ; beside Avhich, we s-re here, more 
than in any other of the classes of represent- 
ation, exposed to every species of fraud and 
imposition. The history of a painting of this 
sort, whence it came, and through what hands 
it has passed, can scarcely ever be traced. The 
portraits of the ancient founders of colleges 
at Oxford and Cambridge are pronounced by 
the best judges to be forgeries, with scarcely 
any exception. The general tradition at Oxford, 
is that the pretended portraits of John Baliol 
and Devorgilda, his wife, founders of Baliol 
College in the year 1268, were taken respect- 
ively from a blacksmith of Oxford in the seven- 
teenth century, and a miss Meeks, or Reeksj 
an apothecary's daughter. 

Let us continue however to interest ourselves 
respecting the portraits of our remoter an- 
cestors, and let us believe that we shall not* be 
altogether deceived. In monumental sculp- 
tures, as has been already said, we are not 


without a certain degree of representation upon 
which the most cautious and sceptical observer 
will find himself in the last result obliged to set 
some value. But, where our materials are not 
altogether so excellent, a curious and ardent 
enquirer Avill willingly accept such as he can 
obtain. It is impossible to pass from perusing 
an ancient poem of great merits or an inte- 
resting piece of biography, without wishing to 
see the image or representation of the author 
in the one case, or the person concerning whom 
we have been interested in the other, or without 
rejoicing when we meet with such a represent- 
atioU:, if it appears in any degree worthy of 
its subject. An illumination, a seal, or even 
a coiU;, may be presumed in many cases to 
preserve some degree of outline ; the shape of 
the nose, the forehead or the mouth. It is thus 
that Hoccleve speaks of the illuminated portrait 
of Chaucer. If in some respects these ancient 
memorials are deficient in drawing, or fail to 
represent what the instructed eye recognises for 
real and human, it is reasonable that we should 
feel obliged to an ingenious artist who, like 
Vertue or Houbraken, may, without violating 
the contour and rude outline, have substituted 
flesh where before was iron, and breathed a soul 


into the uninformed and shapeless mass. If 
they have made the poet look like a poet, the 
warrior like a warrior, and the man of pro- 
found and penetrating mind like what he was 
in this respect, I accept to a certain degree 
the exertions of their art as genuine images, 
without yielding them an unreserved and im- 
plicit homage, and without believing that art, 
when encountering a variety of obstacles, or 
when exerted with every advantage, is not 
perpetually liable to misrepresentation and de^ 

The portrait of John of Gaunt, prefixed to 
the second volume of this work, is taken from 
a painted window in the college of All Souls at 
Oxford. This college was founded in the year 
1437, and the window in question is pro- 
nounced to be coeval with the foundation ^ 
From what model the portrait of John of 
Gaunt, who had then been dead about forty 
years, was taken, it is impossible for us to pro- 

* Wa]pole, Anecdotes of Painting, Chap. II. Wood, 
History of Colleges In Oxford, by Gutch : College of All 



nounce. A sepulchral figure of the duke of 
Lancaster and of his duchess Blanche existed 
in St. Paul's cathedral^ previously to the great 
fire of London in 1666, and is engraved in 
Dugdale's History of that Church, published 
in the year 1658; but it was certainly not 
placed there sooner than thp reign of Henry 
VIL as he is mentioned, by the title of the 
'^ most wise king," in the inscription which 
accompanies it. — The portrait in this work 
has been improved, I think very happily, in 
point of dignity and character by the artist em- 
ployed upon it, from a consideration of John 
of Gaunt's disposition and endowments, as they 
are exhibited in history. 

Concerning the portraits of Chaucer yet in 
existence it seems proper that we should be 
more particular. The first in point of au- 
thenticity is probably the well known illumin- 
ation in Hoccleve's poem, entitled De Begimine 
Pr'mcipis. Hoccleve appears to have written 
in the reign of Henry IV ; and that he was 
personally acquainted with Chaucer is suffici- 
ently clear from the stanza of his poem op- 
posite to which this portrait is placed. 


Al thogh his lyfe be ^'queynt, the resem- 

Of him hath in me so fresh '^ lyflynesse^ 
That to putte othre men in remembraunce 
Of his persone, I have heere his lyknesse 
^ Do mak6j to this ende, in sothfastnesse. 
That thei that have of him ^ lest thought and 

By this peynture may ageyn him fynde. 

I do not know whether more than one copy 
of this portrait exists. It is to be found in the 
Harleian Collection, No. 4866. In another 
copy of the De Reg'imine Principis in the British 
IMuseum, referred to by Warton and Gough 
as containing a dupHcate of this illumination 
(Ayscough's Catalogue, 1 7 D. 1 8), the margin 
opposite to the above stanza exhibits no por- 
trait. A manuscript in the Cotton collection 
(Otho, A. 18) is said to have contained a 
similar illumination ; but it is now destroyed. 
The figure of Chaucer which was engraved 

* quenched, extinct. '^ liveliness. 

** Caused make. * lost. 


on his tomb in Westminster Abbey in 1556, is 
affirmed to have been copied from Hoccleve's 
illumination ^ It is at present wholly ob- 

There is a portrait of Chaucer on board in 
the Bodleian Library at Oxlord. This is pro- 
nounced by the most intelligent antiquaries 
not to be of the times of Chaucer from this 
circumstance. On the picture are painted the 
figures 1400, being the date of the year of 
Chaucer's death; but the iVrabic numeral an-- 
swering to our 4 appears not to have received 
this form till a considerable time after the 
period at which this portrait ought to have been 
painted ^ if taken from the life. 

It is from this painting that the head of Chau- 
cer is engraved which is placed in the front of 

^ Warton and Gough (ubi svpra) affirm that it was copied 
from the manuscript (Ayscough, 17 D. 18), which contains no 

^ In Gough's Sepulchral Monuments,, there is a plate, ex- 
hibiting the successive forms of the numeral characters 
(Vol. II, Introduction, Plate 34), in which the author re- 
ceived assistance from several excellent antiquaries. In that 
plate, the modern form of the Arabic character representing 
the number four, is said to have been introduced in the time 
of Henry VIII. 


this work. If I had seen earlier the illumin- 
ation in the Harleian manuscript of Hoccleye, 
I should certainly have preferred that as a 
model. There is a softness and mellowness in 
the features of Hoccleve's portrait, very un~ 
common for the times when it was made, and 
which, with a little aid from the graver of an 
intelligent artist, would have conveyed a very 
adequate idea of a countenance worthy of a 
poet. The Bodleian portrait is not without cha- 
racter, but is less meritorious, and cannot be 
regarded as equally authentic. 

There is a painting of Chaucer on board 
in the British Museum ; but it does not de- 
serve to be named. It is supposed to have 
been bought by sir Hans Sloane for the single 
purpose of serving as a point of comparison 
to a pebble in his collection, which has been 
thought to exhibit some outlines of a human 
head resembling that of Chaucer. 

Mr. Warton informs us, that he possessed 
a very old picture of Chaucer, which had 
formerly been hung up in Chaucer's house at 
Woodstock, and which greatly resembled the 
illumination in Hoccleve ''. 

^ Warton, Vol. II, Sect. IJ. 


Colonel Matthew Smith, major of the Tower 
of London, is said to have in his possession an 
original portrait of Chaucer. 

A curious statement occurs, in the Life of 
Chaucer prefixed to Urry's Edition, of a por- 
trait of this poet, when he was about thirty- 
years of age, at that time (1721) in the pos- 
session of George Greenwood of Chastleton in 
the county of Gloucester, esquire. I do not 
know where this painting is now to be found. 

It only remains to give some account of 
the portrait of Chaucer, which is placed at 
the end of this work. The picture from which 
it is taken, and which is painted upon board, 
was found, about two years ago, by Mr. Ri- 
chard Phillips, the publisher of these volumes, 
in the house, in the market-town of Hunting- 
don, in which Oliver Cromwel is said to have 
been born. Mr. Phillips purchased it on the 
spot, and it is now in his possession. As a 
curiosity, and a piece of antiquity which to 
this time had never been mentioned, it was 
thought worth while to ha:ve it engraved, and 
annexed to this publication. 

It certainly bears no striking resemblance to 
the received portraits of Chaucer; and for 
that reason, beside others, it has been regarded 


M'itli an eye of incredulity by several con^ 
noisseurs. It is undoubtedly however very an- 
cient ; and wliat is most material, the name of 
Chaucer, -which is painted upon the picture, is 
pronounced by some of the best judges (par- 
ticularly Mr. Tassaert of Dean Street) to be 
equal of age with the rest of the piece, and 
impossible to have been added afterward. 

The person^ whoever he is, that is repre- 
sented in this picture, holds in his hand a 
wand, which has been interpreted by some of 
those who have seen it to be a staff of office, 
and supposed to have possibly belonged to 
Chaucer as comptroller of the customs. A 
paper lies upon the table near him, which the 
ingenious have in vain attempted to decipher, 
and which, if deciphered, might perhaps throw 
some light upon the subject of the picture. 
In one corner of the painting is a chest, with 
a representation in the front of it, of a com- 
bat, and a knight preparing to kill his ad- 
versary. This might possibly refer to the 
catastrophe of the story of Palamon and Arcite, 
or the Knightes Tale, -the first in the series 
of the Canterbury Tales ; which in its original 
form was written by Chaucer while still a young- 


No. Ill, p. 248, Vol. ir. 


From the Romauntofthe Rose, ver. 349 — 412. 

* JiiLDE was ypainted after this. 
That shorter was a fote '' iwls 
Than she was wont in her *" yonghede ; 
*^Unneth her self she mighten fede ; 
So feble and so olde was she. 
That faded was all her beaut6 ; 
Full salowe' was waxen her colour ; 
Her hedde for ^ hore was white as flour; 
Iwis ^ grete qualme ne were it none, 
Ne sinne, although her life were gone. 

' Old Age. '' I guess. '^ youth, ^ Scarcely. 

* hoariness. 

' it would have been no great crime, could scarcely have 
excited a qualm, so miserable an object did she seem^ to have 
killed her. 


All woxen was her body ^ unwelde. 
And drie and ^ dwined all, far elde ; 
A foule, forwelked thing was she, 
That ^ whilom round and soft had ' be. 
Her heres ™ shoken fast withall, 
As from her hedde they woulden fall ; 
Her fac6 " frounced and ° forpined. 
And both her hondes lorne ^ ford wined ; 
So old she was, that she ne went 
A fote, but it were by "^ potent. 

The time, that passeth night and daie. 
And rest61esse travaileth "^ aie. 
And steleth from us privily, 
(That to us semeth * sikerly 
That it in one poinct dwelleth ever. 
And certes it ne resteth never. 
But goth so fast, and passeth ' aie. 
That there ^ n'is man that thinken male. 

* unweildy, rebellious to its tenant's purposes. 

^ wasted. ' much wrinkled. ^ formerly. 

' been. "" shook, " shrivelled. 

• much pined, fallen in. p much wasted. ' crutch," 
■^ always. ' securely, certainly, * is no. 


What tim6 that now present is, 

" Asketh at these gf ete clerk6s this*-^) ; 

The time, that maie not sojourne, 

But goeth, and maie ner retourne. 

As water that doune runneth ^ aie, 

But never droppe fetourn6 maie, 

(There maie nothing as time endure> 

Metall, nor yerthly creature, 

For alie thing is ^ frette, and shall) ; 

The time eke, that ychaungeth ail. 

And all ^ doth waxe and fostred he, 

And alle thing destroyeth he ; 

The time that ^eld'th our auncestours. 

And ^eldeth kinges and emperours, 

And that us all shall overcomen, 

Er that deth us shall have ^ ynommen ; 

" Enquire ; th, in the language of Chaucer, is the termin- 
ation of the second person singular Imperativei' 

" alwayp. "^ fretted, wasted* 

•'' maketh ; do is commonly a verb transitive in Chaucer. 

y maketh old. 

" taken j part, froth to nim. The prefix y does not, so far 
as can now be discovered, alter the sense ; and therefore, in 
poetry, seems to serve the purpose merely of supplying the 
writer at pleasure with an additioral syllable. 

VOI-. IV. Q, 


The tim6, that hath all in ^ welde 

To ^ elding folke ; had made her elde 

So inly, that to my " weting 

She might ne helpe her self nothing. 

But tourn'd ayen unto childhede ; 

She had nothing her self to lede, 

** Ne witte ne pithe within her hold, 

More than a child of two yere old. 

But nathelesse I trowe that she 

Was faire somtime and freshe to se. 

Whan she was in her rightfull age ; 

But she was past all that passage. 

And was a doted thing becomen: 

A furred cappe on had she ^ nommen ; 

Well had she cladde her self and warme. 

For cold might ell6s doen her harme ; 

These old6 folke have alwaie cold, 

^ Her kinde is soche, whan thei ben old. 

^ in wield, in his power. '' making old. 

*^ judgment. 

* Neither understanding, nor marrow within her frame. 
*= taken. ^ Their. 


No. IV, p. 256, Vol. II. 


From the Romaunt of the Rose, ver. 2175 — 2Q60, 

* V ILLANIE, at the beginning, 
I woll, saied Love, over all thing. 
Thou ^ ieve ; if that thou wolt '^ ybe 
False, and trespace ^ ayenest me ; 
I curse and blame generally 
All hem that loven ^ villanie ; 
For villanie maketh villaine. 
And by his dedes a ' chorle is seind 
These villain es arne without pit6, 
Frendship and love, and all bount6 ; 
I ^ n'ill receive to my service 
Hem that ben vilaines ^ of emprise. 

' Any thing unbecoming a gentleman. ^ reject. 

" forte ne be.. ** against. ^ churl is seen. 

Cwill not. * in their undertakings. 



But understonde in thine entente 
That this is not mine entendment 
To "" clepen no wight in no age 
Onely gentill for his linage ; 
But who so that is vertuous. 
And in his port not outrageous. 
Whan soche one thou seest * the beforne. 
Though he be not gentill yborne. 
Thou mayest well . seine this in sotb. 
That he's gentill, because he doth 
As longeth to a gentil man ; 
Of hem none other deme I can : 
For certainly withouten ^ drede 
A chorle is denied by his dede. 
Of hie or lowe, as ye male se. 
Or of what kinred that he be^ 

Ne sale "* nought, for none evil will, 
Thing which that " is to holden still ; 

^ call, denominate. ' before thee, in thy company. 

^ say. *= doubt. 

' This paragraph has nothing correspondent to Tt in the 
original. Edition 1735. 
® not. " ought to be concealed. 


It is no "" worship to ^ misseie ; 
Thou maiest ensample take of "^ Keie, 
That was somtime for missaying 
Yhated bothe of old and yong ; 
As ferre as "^ Gawein the worthie 
Was praised for his cnrtesie, 
Kaie was hated, for he was fell, , 
Of worde "dispitous and cruel! : , ,, 
Wherefore be wise and ^ aqueintable, 
Godelie of worde, and resonable, 
*Both6 to lesse and eke to mare ; 
And whan thou comest ^ there men are, 
Loke that thou have in custome aie 
First to " salue hem^ if thou male ; 
And if it fall that of hem some 
" Salue the first, be thou not ^ domme. 
But "" quite hem curtesly anon. 
Without abiding, er thei gon. 

For nothing eke thy tong applie 
To speken wordes of ^ ribaudrie ; 

° worthyship, worthiness, ^ beliitf. 

^ Two of Arthur's knights of the Round Table. 

' spiteful. ^ affable. 

* Both to small and (mare, more) great. 

' Origi par ks rues. " salute. * dumb. 

''■ requite. ' ribaldry, profligacy. 


To vilaine speche, in no degre, 

? Late ner thy lippe unbounden be ; 

For I nought holde him, ip gode faiths, 

* Curteis, that foul6 word 6s saith. 

And all6 women serve and preise, 

And to thy power ^ her honour reise ; 

And if that any *" missayere 

Dispise women, that thou maist ^ here. 

Blame him, and ^ bidde him holde him still 

And sette thy might, and al thy will^ 

Women and ladies for to plese. 

And to do thing that may hem ese, 

That thei ever speke gode of the, 

For so thou maist best praised be. 

Loke that fro pride thou kepe ^the wele, 
For thou maist both perceive and fele. 
That pride is both foly and sinne. 
And he, that pride hath him within^, 
Ne may his hert6 in no wise 
^ Meken ne souplen to service ; 
For pride is founde in every parte 
Contrarie unto Loves arte : 

^ Let. ' Courteous. ^ their. " slanderer. 

^ hear. ^ Ong.fais qu'il se taise. ^ thee. 

* Render meek or supple. 


And he that loveth tru^ly 
Should him contein^ joli^y 
Withouten pride in sondiy wise, 
And him disguisen in ^ queintice ; 
For queinte aray, withouten ' drede^ 
Is nothing proude, who taketh hedc 
For freshe aray, as men may se, 
Withouten pride may often be. 

Maintaine thy selfe J after thy rent 
Of rob 6 and eke of garment 
For many a ^ sith6 faire clothing 
* A man amendeth in muche thing. 

And loke alway that thei be shape 
(What garment that thou shalt ""the make) 
Of him that can the best ydo, 
With al that "" parteineth therto, 
° Point^s and sieves be wel ^ sittande, 
Ful right and streight upon the hande ; 

^ trimness. ' doubt. ^ according to thy income^ 

^ time. ' Greatly mends a man's appearance. 

" thee. " appertains. • Strings, tags. 

sitting, fitting. 


Of ** shone and botes, newe and faire^ 

Loke at the lest thou have a paire^ 

And that thei sitte so ' fetously 

That these rude men may utterly 

Mervaile, ^ sith that thei sitte so plainc. 

How thei come * an or of againe. 

" Were streighte gloves, with ^ aumere 

Of silke, and alway with gode chere 

^ Thou yeve^ if that thou have richesse. 

And if thou have nought, spende the lesse j 

Alway be mery, if thou niaie, 

But wast6 not thy ^ gode alwaie. 

Have hatte of floures freshe as May, 

Chapelet of roses of Whitsondaie ; 

For soche araie ^ costneth but lite. 

Thine hondes washe, thy tethe make white. 

And let no filthe upon the be ; 

Thy nail6s blacke if thou maiest se, 

* Voide it awaie ^ deliverly ; 

And " liembe thine hedde right jolily ; 

•J shoes. 

' neatly* 

' since. 

* on or off. 

" Wear. 

"^ aumener, 


^ Give thou. 

' fortune. 

' costs but little. 

» Clear, 

> nimbly, 




** Farce not thy visage in no wise. 
For that of Love is nat the ^ emprise •, 
For love doeth haten, as I finde, 
A beautie that com'th nat of ^kinde, 

Alwaie in herte ^ I red^ the 
Full glad and raery for to be ; 
And be as joifull as thou can ; 
Love hath nojoie of sorow'full man: 
That ill is full of curtesie, 
That [^ he] know'th in his maladie ; 
For ever of love the sikenesse 
Is * meint with swete and bitternesse : 
The sore of love is mervailous ; 
For now the lover is joious, 
Now can he J plain, now can he grone, 
Now can he singe, now maken mone ; 
To daie he plain'th for hevinesse, 
^ To. mdrue' he plain'th for jolinesse ; 
The life of love is full contrarie^ 
Whiche ^ stound(6mele can often varie .* 

^ Trick. * procedure, *' nature. « advise* 

^ Love. ' mixed. ^ 4ament^ 

* To-morrow. ' momentarily, 


But if thou " canest mirth^s make. 
That men "in gre woll gladly take, 
Doe it godely, I commaunde the ; 
For men should, where so er thei be. 
Doe thing that hem befitting is, 
For therof com'th gode ° loos and pris. 

p Wherof that thou be vertuous, 
Ne be nat straunge ne '^ daungerous : 
For if that thou gode rider be, 
'Pricke gladly that men male the se; 
In arm6s also if thou ' conne, 
Pursue till thou a name hast wonnc ; 
And if thy voice be fa ire and clere, 
Thou shalt maken no grete * daungere . 
Whan " the to singe thei godely praie, 
It is thy worship for t' obaie. 
Also to you it longeth aie 
To harpe and "^ giterne daunce and plaie ; 
For if thou can well "^ fote and daunce. 
It male the gretely doe avaunce. 

^ canst. " in good part, * laud and praise, 

p In whatever thing thou chancest to excel. '^ sparing. 

•■ Ride apaee. * have knowledge. ' difficulty. 

" thee. ^ guitar. '^ foot. 


" Emong eke^ for thy ladie sake, 
Song^s and complaintes that thou make ; 
For that woll "^ meven in ^ her herte, 
Whan that thei ^ reden of thy smerte, 

Loke that no man for *" scarce the holde, 
For that male greve the manifolde ; 
Reson woll |:hat a lover be 
In his "^yeftes more large and fre 
Than chorles that ben not of loving : 
For who therof ^ can any thing, 
He shall be ^ lefe aie for to yeve, 
^ In lond6s lore who so would leve ; 
For he that through a ^ sodain sight. 
Or for a kissing, anon right 
Yave whole his herte in will and thought. 
And to him selfe kepeth right nought. 
After this gift 'tis but reson 
He give his gode ' in a bandon. 

Now woll I shortly here reherce 
Of that I have ysaied in verse 

'^ Also among thy accomplishments. 
^ move in, influence. ' their. ** learn. 

*= niggard. *" gifts. ^ knoweth. ^ willing. 

« Perhaps, If we may believe the lore {stories) of foreign lands. 
^ sudden. ' in abandonment, to confusion. 


All the Jsentenc6 by and by, 

In worcl^s fewe compendiously, 

That thou the ^ bet maiest on hemthmke 

^Wher be thou wake or winke ; 

For the word^s do little greve 

A man to kepe, whan thei be breve. 

Who so with Love woU gon or ride^ 
He mote be ^ curteis, voide of pride, 
Merie^ and full of jolit6. 
And of largesse " a losed be. 

First, I ^'joigne the here in penaunce, 
That ever, without repentaunce, 
Thou set thy thought in thy loving 
To last withouten repenting, ^ 
And think upon thy mirth ^s swete 
That shall ^ folue' after whan ye mete. 

And, for thou true to Love shalt be, 
I willen and commaunden the, 

^ meaning. ^ better. ' Whether. 

^ courteous. " free, ° enjoin thee as a task. 




That in one place thou set all whole 
Thy herte, withouten '^ halfen dole, 
For trecherie and ' sikernesse ; 
For I lov'd never doublenesse : 
To many' his herte that woll * depart^ 
* Everiche shall have but little part ; 
But of him * drede I me right nought, 
That in one place setteth his thought 
Therefore in " o place thou it set. 
And let it never ^ thennes flet ; 
For if thou yev'st it in ^ lening, 
I holde it but a wretched thing : 
Therefore yeveth it whole and quitf 
And thou shalt have the more merite. 
If it be lent, than after y soen 
The bounty and the thanke is doen ; 
But in love a fre ' yeven thing 
Requireth a grete ^ guerdoning. 
Yeve it in yeft all quite fully. 
And make thy gift debonairly. 
For men that yeft holden more dere 
That yeven is with gladsome chere : 

^ half-measure. ' sec»rity^ sincerity. ^ divide. 

* Each one. '' doubt. " one. " thence depart. 

* lending. ^ foon. " given. * recompence,^ 


That gift^ nought to praisen is. 
That a man yeveth ^ mal gre his. 

Whan thou hast yev'n thy herte (as I 
Have '^ said the here openly). 
Than av-entures shull "* the fall 
Whiche hard and hevy ben with all ; 
For oft, whan thou bethinkest the 
Of thy loving, where so thou be, 
Fro folke thou must depart ^ in hie. 
That none perceive thy maladie, 
But hide thine harme thou must alone. 
And go forth sole, and make thy mone. 

Thou shalt no while be in ^o state. 
But whilom colde, and whilom ^ hate, 
Now red as rose, now yelowe' and fade ; 
Such sorowe' I trowe thou never hade : 
''Cotidien, ne the 'quarteine. 
It is not half so full of peine ; 
For often tim6s it shal fal 
In love, among thy paints al, 

* against his will. "^ directed thee. ^ befal the, 

• in secret, to the upper part of the house. 

^ one. » hot. ** Quotidian. ' quartan. 


That thou thy selfin all wholly 
Foryetten shall so utterly. 
That many tim^s thou shalt be 
Still as an image made of J tre, 
" Domme as a stone, without ^ stering 
Of fote or honde, without speking. 
And than, sone after al thy paine. 
To memorie shalt thou come againe, 
A man abashed *" wonder sore ; 
And after sighen more and more : 
For " wit thou wele, withouten ^ wene, 
In such astate ful oft have bene, 
That have the evill of 'love assaide, 
^ Where thorouffh thou art so dismaide. 


After, a thought shal take the so, 
That thy love is '* to ferre the fro : 
Thou shalt say, " God ! what may this be. 
That I ne may my lady se ? 
Mine hert alone is to her go, 
And I abide al sole in v/o. 

J tree, wood. ^ Dumb, * stirring. ^ wondrous-, 

" know. " guess, doubt. «• On account of which, 

'' too far from thee. 


"^ Departed fro mine own6 thought, 

And with mine ey6n se right noughts 

Alas ! mine ei^n sene ne may 

My carefull hert6 to ^ convay ; 

Mine hertes guide * but that they be, 

I praise no thing what er thei se. 

Shul thei abiden then ? Why, nay ; 

But gone and se without delay 

That whiche mine hert desireth so : 

For certainly, * but if thei go, 

A ^ fole my selfe I may well holde 

Whan I ne se what mine hert wolde ; 

Wherfore I wol gone her to sene, 

Or esed shall I never bene, 

* But that I have some tokening. " 

Than gost thou forth without "" dvv^elling ; 

But oft thou fail'st of thy desire, 

"^ Er thou maist come her any nere. 

And wastest in vain thy "" passage ; 

Than fal'st thou in a new6 rage, 

For want of sight thou "^ ginnest murne, 

And homwarde pensife dost returne : 

•■ Divided. ^ conduct. ' unless. ' fool. 

" delay. * Ere, before. " journey, search, 

y beginnest to mourn. 


In p-reat ^ miscliefe than slialt thou be. 
For than againe shal come to the 
Sights and plaintes with newe Wo, 
* That no itching pricketh the so : 
Who wot it nought, he may go ^ lere 
Of hem that buyen love so dere. 

No thing thine herte appesen male, 
*^ That oft thou wolt gone and assaie 
If thou maist sene by aventure 
Thy hv6s joye, thine hertes cure ; 
So that by grace, if that thou might 
Attaine of her to have a sight, 
Than shalt thou done non other dede> 
But with that sight thine eyen fede : 
That faire fresh whan thou maist se. 
Thine hert shal so ravished be. 
That ner thou woldest thy thaiikes '^ lete 
Ne remove, for to se that swete ; 
The more thou seest, in sothfastnesse 
The more thou covit'st that swetenesse ; 

' adversity, distress. 

'• More painful than any cuticular irritation or smart. 

' learn. *= But. ** let (withhold), nor take away. 



The more thine herte ^ brenneth in fire. 

The more thine herte is in desire. 

For^ who considreth ^ every dele. 

It may be Hkened ^wonder wele, 

The paine of love, unto a ^ fere ; 

For evermore ' thou nighest nere. 

In thought, or how so that it be 

(For very ^ sothe I tel it the), 

The hotter ever shalt thou brenne 

(As experience shall * the kenne). 

Where so thou com'st in any "* coste : 

Who is next fire he brenneth moste. 

And yet forsothe, for al thine hete, 

Though thou for lov6 " swelte and swete, 

Ne for no thing thou felen may. 

Thou shalt not wille to passe away ; 

And, though thou go, yet must ° the nede 

Thinken al day on her faire ^ hede, 

* burns. ^ exactly. ^ wondrous. ^ fire. 

' nighest, approachest : the nearer thou approachest. 
^ sooth, truth. * make thee know. 

•" nearness, perhaps from the French, a coti. 
" swelten and sweat. " thou need necessarily. 

^ head, person. 

APPENDIX. ^ 243 

Whom thou beheld with so gode willi 
And holde thy selfe '^ begiled ill 
That thou ne hadd'st none " hardiment 
To shewe her aught of thine entent : 
Thine herte ful sore thou wolt dispise, 
And eke ^ repreve of co\yardice. 
That thou, so dull in every thing, 
Were domme for drede, without speking* 
-Thou shalt eke thinke thou did'st foly, 
* That thou were her so faste hie. 
And durst not venture the to say 
Some thing er that thou came away ; 
For thou haddest no mor6 " wonne 
To spekeof her, whan thou ^begonne: 
But yet, if she would for thy sake 
^ In arm6s godcly the have take, 
It should have be more worthe to the 
Than of tresour a grete plent6. 

Thus shalt thou ^ morrie and eke com- 
And get ^ enches'on to gon againe 

^ ill-starred, betrayed by fortune. ^ boldness. 

' reprove, arraign, * fast by her. " opportunity, 

^' art gone, ^ Have taken thee kindly In her arms. 

^ mourn, ' occasion. 

1^ 2 

244 APPENDir. 

Unto thy walke, or to thy place, 

Where thou behelde her ^ fleshly face ; 

And, '' n'ere for false suspection, 

Thou woldest find occasion 

For to gone in unto her house ; 

Thou " arne than so desirous 

A sight of her but for to have : 

If thou thine ^ honour mightest save. 

Or any eraride mightest make 

Thider, for thy lov6s sake, 

Ful faine thou woldest ; but for drede 

Thou goest not, lest that men take hede» 

Wherfore I ^ rede, in thy going. 

And als in thine again comming. 

Thou be wel ware that men ^ ne wit ; 

Feine ^ the other cause than it 

To go that waie, or faste bie ; 

To i helen wel is no folic. 

And, if so be, it happe the, 
That thou thy love there maiest se, 

^ real. ^ were it not. *= art then. 

^ The honour of a knight lay in his exact consideration 
for the scruples and reputation of the fair. 

^ advise. ^ also, ^ observe not. 

^ thee, thou. ' conceal. 


In siker wise thou her ^salewe; 
Wherwith thy coloure woll ^ transmewC;, 
And eke thy bloud shal al to quake, 
Thy hewe eke chaungen for her sake ; 
But word and wit, with chere ful pale, 
Shul wan ten for to tell thy tale ; 
And, if thou maist so *"ferforth winne, 
That thou to ° reson durst beginne. 
And woldest saine thre thinges or " mOj 
Thou shalt ful scarsly saine ^ the two ; 
Though thou bethinke ^ the ner so wele^ 
Thou shalt '^ foryeten yet somdele, 
' But if thou dele with trechery ; 
For false lovers * mow^e all fully 
Sain what * hem lust withouten dred, 
They be so double' in " her falshed ; 
For thei in herte can thinke o thing. 
And saine an other' in "* her speking. 

And, whan thy speche is ended all 
Right thus to P the it shal befall ; 

^ salute. ' transmute^ change, ™ far. 

" discourse (with thy mistress). ° more. ^ thee* 

1 forget. * Unless. . ' can. 

* they wish. " their. 


If any worde than come to minde, 
That thou to say hast left behinde, 
Than thou shalt brenne in grete martire ; 
For thou shalt brenne as any fire : 
This is the strife, and eke th' affraie, 
And the battil that lasteth ^ aie; 
This bargaine end may never take, 
But if that she thy pece wil make. 

And, whan the night is come anon, 
A thousand angres shal come on ; 
To bed as fast thou ^ wolt the dight. 
Where thou shalt have but smal delight ; 
For, whan thou wen est for to slepe, 
So ful of pain6 shalt thou crepe, 
Sterte in thy bed about ful wide. 
And turne ful ofte on every side. 
Now downward ^groffe, and now upright, 
And walow'in wo the longe night ; 
Thine amies shalt thou sprede ^ a brede^^ 
As man in warr6 ^ forwerede : 

" for ever, ' wilt prepare thee. 

' flat. " abroad, wide, 

3 much wearied. 


Than shal ^ the come a remembraunce 
Of her shap4 and her semblaunce, 
Wherto none other may be ^ pere. 

And ^ wete thou wel, withouten " were, 
That the shal -se somtime that nighty 
That thou hast her that is so bright. 
Naked bitwene thine armes there, 
Al sothfastnesse as though it were : 
Thou shalt make ^ castels than in Spaine, 
And dreme of joy, al but in vaine, 
And ^ the deliten of right nought. 
While thou so slombrest in that thought. 
That is so swete and delitable ; 
The whiche in sothe n'is but a fable. 
For it ne shall no while last. 

Than shalt thou sighe and wepe fast, 
And say, " Dere God ! what thing is this ? 
My dreme is turned al amis, 
Which was ful swete and apparent ; 
But, now I wake, it is al ' shent, 

•• come to thee. "^ peer. '^ know. ^ doubt. 

^ see, imagine, dream. 

« Chateaux en Espagne ; we say at present. Castles in the air. 
^ thee. ' ruined. 


Now ^ yede this mery ihought away ; 
. Twenty times upon a day 

I would this thought would come againe. 

For it ' alegeth wel my paine. 

It mak'th me ful of joyful thought, 

It ^ sleeth me that it lasteth nought : 

Ah, Loide ! why nil ye me socoure ? 

The joye I trowe that I " langoure, 

The deth I woulde me should ° slo. 

While i lie in her armes two ; 

Mine harme is hard, withouten ^ wenC;, 

My grete unese ful ofte, I mene. 

But woulde Love do so I might 

Have fully joye of her so bright. 

My paine were quitte me richely ! 

'^ Alas^ ^to gret a thing aske I ; 
It is butfoly'^ and wrong 'wemng, 
To aske so outrageous a thing ! 
And who so asketh folily, 
He ^ mote be warned hastily ; 
And I ne wote what I may say, 
I am so ferre out of the way ; 

is gone. > relieves. " slays, kills, 

languish for, " slay, p doubt. ^ too. 

conceit. ^ must, should. 


For I would have ful grete liking 
And ful grete joy of Masse thing. 
For, would she of her gentilnesse, 
Withouten more^. me "" on6s kesse. 
It were to me a grete guerdon, 
Relese of all my passion. 
But it is harde to come therto ; 
Al is but foly that I do ; 

So highe I have mine hert^ sette. 
Where that I may no comfort gette. 

I "^ n'ote wher I say well or nought. 

But this I wote well in my thought. 

That it were "" bette of her alone 

For to stinten my wo and mone, 

A loke on her I cast godely. 

Than for to have al utterly 

Of an other al whole the play. 

" Ah, Lord ! ^ where shal I bide the day. 
That er she shal my lady be? 
He is ful cur'd, that may her se. 

* less. " once kiss, ^ wot not whether. 

* better : the sense is. The sight alone of her would do 
more to relieve my sorrow, than. 

^ Perhaps, how should I sustain the happiness ? 


Ah, God ! whan shal the dauning springe? 
To ^liggen thus is' an ^ angry thing; 
I have no joy thus here to lie, 
Whan that my love is not me hie. 
A man to ^ lien hath grete ^ disese. 
Which male not slepe, ne rest in ese : 
I would it " daw'd, and were now day. 
And that the night were went away ; 
For, were it daye^ I would up rise. 
Ah, slow6 sunne ! ^ shewe thine enprise ; 
Spede the to sprede thy hemes bright. 
And chace the derknesse of the night. 
To put away the ^ stoundes strong, 
Whiche in me lasten al ^ to long 1'* 

The night shalt thou continue so, 
Withouten rest, in paine and wo. 
If ^ er thou knew of love distresse. 
Thou shalt now lerne in that sikenesse ; 
And, thus enduring, shalt thou lie ; 
And rise on morrow up erly 
Out of thy bed, and ^'harneis the, 
Er ever dawning thou maist se ; 

^ lie. ^ wearisome. * uneasiness, '^ dawned, 

^ begin thy career. "^ sorrows. ^ too. 

^ forte ner, ^ put on thy garments. 


Al privily than shalt thou gone. 

What wether' it be, thy selfe alone, 

For reine, or haile, for snow, for slete, 

Thider she dweirth, that is so swete. 

The whiche may fall aslepe be. 

And think'th but little upon the. 

Than shalt thou go, ' ful foule ^ferde^ 

Loke if the gate be ^ unsperde, 

And waite without in wo and paine, 

Ful ill a colde in winde and raine, — 

Than shalt thou go the dore before, 

If thou maist linden any shore. 

Or hole, or ^ reft, what ere it were,— 

Than shalt thou "* stoupe, and lay to ° ere. 

If thei within aslep6 be, 

I mene al save thy lady ° fre ; 

Whom waking if thou maist aspie, 

Go, put thy selfe in jupardie. 

To ask6 grace, and ? the bimene. 

That she may ^ wete, withouten wene. 

That thou all night no rest hast had. 

So sore for her thou were " bestad. 

' with great fear and caution. ^ unbarred. 

' rift. , " stoop. " ear. 

° free. ^ demean thyself, 

^ learn, without doubt. ' distressed. 


Women wel ought pit6 to take 
Of ' hem that sorowen for * her sake ; 
And loke, for love of that " rehke. 
That thou ne thinke none other like. 
For, whan thou hast so gret "^anney, 
Shall kisse the er thou go awey. 
And hold that in ful grete ''deint^ : 
And for that no man shall the se 
Before the house, ne in the way, 
Loke thou be gon again e ^ er day. 
Such6 comming, and suche going, 
Suche hevinesse, and such \yalking, 
Maketh lovers, withouten wene. 
Under * her clothes, pale and lene : 
Love ne ^ lev'th coloure ne clerenesse ; 
Who loveth trewe hath no fatnesse; 
Thou shalt wel by thy self6 se, 
*That thou must nedes assaied be: 
For men that shape hem other way. 
Falsely * her ladies to betray, 
No wonder is though thei be fatte ; 
With fals6 othes * her loves thei gatte ; 

' them. ' their. " relic, as ice now say jewel,- 

^ annoyance. * dainty, estimation. 

' ere, before. ^ leaves. ' ^ fo'm Sitfe*' 


For ofte I se suclie ^ losingeours 
Fatter than abbots or priours. 

Yet with o thing: I woU the charg-e. 
That is to say, that thou be *^ large 
Unto the maide that her doth serv^e. 
So best her thanke thou shalte deserve ; 
Yeve her gift6s, and get her grace 
For so thou maiest thanke purchace ; , 
That she ^ the worthy holde and fre, 
Thy lady, and al that may the se : 
Also her servauntes worship aie. 
And plese as muche as thou may ; svvcyat i 
Grete gode through them may come to the, 
Bicause with her thei ben prlv6 ; 
They shall her tel how thei ^ the fande 
Curteis and wise, and wel Moande, 
And she shal preise ^ the wel the more. 

Loke out of londe thou be not ^ fore : 
And, if suche cause thou have, that the 
Behov'th to gone out of country, 
Leve whole thine hert6 in hostage. 
Till thou againe make thy passage ; 

'' hypocrites. '^ bountiful. ^ thee. 

' found thee. ^ doing. « part, of fare, to ^a. 


Thinke long to se the swet6 things 
That hath thine hert in her keping* 

Now have I tolde the, in what wise 
A lover shal do me service; 
Do it than, if that thou wolt have 
The mede, that thou dost after crave. 

Whan Love al this had ^ boden me^ 
I said him. Sir, how may it be, 
That lovers may, in such manere, 
Endure the paine ye have said here ? 
I mervailen me wonder faste, 
How any man may live or laste 
In such6 paine, and suche brenning, 
In sorue', and thought, and suche sighing, 
Aie unrelesed wo to make, 
Wher so it be thei slepe or wake 
In suche anoy continuelly 5 
As helpe me God, this mervaile I, 
How man, but he were made of stele, 
Might live a monthe such paines to fele ! 

The God of Love than said to me, 
Frende, by the faith I owe to the. 

^ bodden, bidden. 


May none have gode, ' but he it bie ; 

A man loveth more tenderlie 

The thing, that he hath bought most dere : 

For wete thou well, withouten were, 

In thanke that thing is taken more, 

Por which a man hath sufFred sore. 

Certes, no wo ne may attaine 

Unto the sore of loves paine ; 

None evil therto may amounte ; 

No mor6 than a man may counte 

The droppes that of the water be : 

For dry as wel the gret6 se 

Thou mightest, as the harm^s tell 

Of them, that still with Lov6 dwell 

In service ; for ^ her peine hem ' sleeth^, 

And that eche man would fle the deeth. 

And trowe, thei should never escape, 
™Ne were, that Hope' "couth them make 
Glad ; as a man in prison ° sete, 
And may not getten for to ete 
But barlie bred and water pure. 
And lieth in vermin and ordure ; 

* unless he buy it. " their, ' slays. 

^ Were it not. " is able to. • set, placed. 


With all6 this yet can he live^ 

Gode Hope suche comfort hath him yeve, 

Whiche ^ maketh wene that he shal he 

Reles'd, and come to Hberte ; 

In Fortune is full his trust. 

Though that he he in strawe or dust^ 

In Hope is al his sustaining. 

So fare lovers in "^ her wening, 
Which Love hath ' shitte in his prisoun ; 
Gode Hope is ^ her salvacioun ; 
Gode Hope Q how sore that thei smerte) 
Yeveth hem both the will and herte 
To ofFre' ® her bodie to martire ; 
For Hope so sore doth hem ^ desire 
To suffre' eche harme that men devise 
For joye that afterwarde shall rise. 
Hope " in desire catche victory ; 
In Hope, of Love is the glory, 
For Hope is all that Love maie yeve ; 
^N'ere Hope, thei should no lenger live. 

P makes him think. 'i their conceptions. 

' shut. ' their. ' however sore they smart. 

" in the sense of prompt. " with Desire brings. 
* Were there not. 


Blessed be Hope, which with Desire 
Avaunc'th lovers in this manire ! 
Gode Hope is curteise for to plese. 
To kepe lovers from all disese ; 
Hope ^ kep'th his londe, and woU abide 
For any peril' that maie betide; 
For Hope to lovers, as most chefe, 
* Doth hem enduren all mischefe ; 
Hope is *her helpe, whan ^mister is. 
And I shal yeve *' the eke iwis 
Thre other thinges, that grete solace 
Doth to hem that be in my ** lace. 

The firsts gode, that may be founde 
To hem that in my lace be bounde. 
Is SWETE-THOUGHT, for to rccordc 
Thing^ wherwith thou canst accorde 
Best in thine hert6, ^ wher she be 
Thinking in absence gode to the. 
Whan any lover doth complaine, 
And liveth in distresse and paine. 
Than Swet6-thought shal come as ^ blivc, 
Awaie his angre for to drive; 

y keeps his ground. ^ causeth, their. 

"^ need. ^ thee. * net. 

* whether. ^ quickly. 


255 - APPENDIX. 

It mak'th lovers have remembraunce 
Of comfort, and of highe plesaunce. 
That Hope hath ^ hight hem for to winne ; 
For Thought anon than shal beginne. 
As ferre, God wot, as he '^ can finde. 
To make a mirrour of his minde 
For to beholde he wol not ^ let : 
Her person he shal fore him set. 
Her laughing eyen, ^persaunt and clere. 
Her shape, her forme, her godely chere. 
Her mouth, that is so gracious, 
So swete, and eke so saverous, 
Of al her ^feters shal take hede, 
His eyen with al her limm6s fede. 
Thus Swet6-thinking shall aswage 
The paine of lovers, and "" her rage ; 
Thy joye shall double, without gesse. 
Whan thou think'st on her seemhnesse, 
Or of her laughing, or her chere, 
That to the made thy lady dere. 
This comforte wol I that thou take ; 
And if the nexte thou wolte forsake, 

' promised. ^ is able, ' delay. 

* piercing. ' features. ■• their. 


Which is not less6 saverous^ 

Thou should 'st not ben to daungerous. 

The second shal be swete'-speche, 
That hath to many one be " leche^ 
To bring hem out of wo and ° were, 
And helpe many a bachelere, 
And many a lady sent socour. 
That havd loved paramoure. 
Thorough speking, whan thei might here> 
Of P her lovers to hem so dere : 
To me it voideth al p her smerte, 
The whiche is closed in ^ her herte ; 
In herte it mak'th hem glad and light, 
Speche, whan thei *i mowe not haven sight. 
And therfore nowe it com'th to minde, 
In old6 *■ dawds as I finde. 
That clerk^s written that her knewe; 
There was a lady, freshe of hewe, 
Whiche of her love maden a song, 
On him for to remembre' among. 
In which she said, '^ Whan that I 'here 
Speken of him that is so dere 

physician. * weariness. ** their, 

may, •■ days. ' hear. 

S 2 


To me, it voldeth alle smerte, 
I wis, he sitt'th so nere my herte ; 
To speke of him at eve or morowe. 
It cureth me of al my sorowe ; 
To me is none so high plesaunce, 
As of his person dalliaunce." 
She wist ful wel, that Swete-speking 
Comforteth in ful much6 thing ; 
Her love she had full well assaide ; 
Of him she was full well ' apaide ; 
To speke of him her joye was set. 

Therefore I ^ rede the that thou get 
A felowe, that can wel concele, 
And kepe thy counsaile, and wel * hele ; 
To whom go shewe wholly thine herte. 
Both y wele and wo, and joye and smerte ; 
To get comforte to him thou go ; 
And prevely, betv/ene you two, 
Ye shal speke of that godely thing, 
That hath thiiie hcrt in her keping, 
Of her beaute, and her semblaunce. 
And of her godely countenaunce ; 

pleased. • advise, 

hide. f weal. 


Of al thy state thou shalt him saie, 
And aske him counsaile, how thou maie 
Do any thing that maie her plese : 
For it to the shal do gret ese, 
That he may wete thou trust him so 
Both of thy wele and of thy wo. 
And, if his herte to love be sette. 
His companie is ^ moche the bette ; 
For reson woll he show to the 
Al utterly his ^ privite, 
And what she is he loveth so 
To the plainly he shal ^ undo, 
Withouten drede of any shame 
Both tel her " renome and her name : 
Than shall he "^forther ferre and nere. 
And namely to thy lady dere, 
In siker wise, ye every other 
Shal helpen as his own6 brother. 
In trouthe withouten doublenesse, 
And kepen close in sikernesse. 
For it is noble thing, ^ in fay, 
To have a man thou ^ darst6 say 

^ much the better. ^ secret. ^ unfold, 

•^ repute. ^ assist thee. " in faith, 

' durst tell. 


Thy privy counsaile ^ every dele ; 
For that woU comforte the right we\c. 
And thou shalt holde the wel apaied, 
Whan suche a frende thou hast assaied. 

The thirds gode of grete comfort, 
That yev'th to lovers most disport, 
Cometh of sight and beholding, 
That ^ cleped is swete'-loking ; 
The which6 may none es6 do. 
Whan thou art ferre thy lady fro: 
Wherfore thou ^ prese alway to be 
In place where thou maist her se; 
For it is thing most amerous. 
Most delitable', and saverous, 
For to aswage a mann6s sorow. 
To sene his lady by the morow; 
For it is a ful noble thing. 
Whan that thine eyen have meting. 
With that relike precious, 
Whereof thei be so desirous ; 
But al daie after sothe it is 
Thei have no drede to fare amis. 

« e^tire, * called. ' be eager. 


Thei dreden neither winde ne raine, 
Ne yet non other maner paine. 

For, whan thine eyen were thus in bhsse, 
Yet of ^ her curtesie, iwisse. 
Alone thei can not have ^ her joye ; 
But to the herte thei convoye 
Part of ^ her bhsse, to him ^ thou sende. 
Of al this harme to make amende. 
The eye is a gode messangere^ 
Which can to th' hert in suche manere 
Tidinges sende that he hath sene. 
To void him of his paines clene ; 
Wherof the hert rejoyseth so, 
That a grete partie of his wo 
Is void, and put away to flight. 
Right as the derknesse of the night 
Is chas'd with clerenesse of the mone ; 
Right so is al his wo ful sone 
Devoided clene, whan that the sight 
Beholden may that fresh6 wight, 
Whiche that the hert desireth so, 
That al his derknesse is ago : 
For than the herte is all at ese. 
Whan ^ thei sene that that male hem plese. 

" their. ' forte they. * the eyes. 


Now have I declar'd the al out 
Of that thou were in drede and doute ; 
For I have tolde the faithfully 
What the may curen utterly. 
And al lovers that wollen be 
I'aithful and of stabilite. 
GoDE-HOPE alway kepe by thy side. 
And swETE-THOUGHT make eke abide, 
SvvETE'-LOKiNG, and swete'-speche; 
Of al thine harmes thei shal be ° leche ; 
Of ° bale, thou shalt have grete plesaunce ; 
Yf thou canst bide in sufferaunce. 
And serven wele without p feintise. 
Thou shall be *^ quite of thine emprise 
With more guerdoun, if that ihou live; 
But ' al this time this I the yeve. 

" physician. ° mischief, sorrow. 

P feigning, hypocrisy, dissimulation, 

'' quit of thy undertaking. '^ forte at. 


No. V. 

[The following official papers are printed 
nearly according to the model exhibited in 
Rymer's Foedera. To persons unaccustomed 
to the inspection of our ancient records, it may 
he proper to observe, that, though here given 
in words at length for the purpose of render- 
ing them more generally intelligible, they are 
interspersed in the originals with a multiplicity 
of contractions and abbreviations. The marks 
of contraction have frequently a definite mean- 
ing; but, in other cases, particularly in the 
terminations of words, the letters omitted can 
only be supplied in the manner which the 
construction and context may appear to re- 
quire, and every reader is at liberty to supply 
them as his judgment or skill in conjecture 
may suggest. 

In one circumstance the scheme of printing 
here employed, differs from that in Rymer. 
Our old records and Latin compositions of the 
. middle ages universally omit the a in the 
diphthong a ; that is, they give regine, Angiie, 
predictum, 6fc. in the room of t^egma, Anglia, 
pr^dlcimn, ^c. It did not appear that this 


singularity could create much obscurity to any 
one moderately skilled in the original language ; 
and it therefore seemed most eligible in this 
point, to exhibit the Latin of our ancestors 
to the eye of the curious, precisely as they 
wrote it] 



Rex omnibus ad quos, &c. salutem. 

Sciatis quod, de gratia nostra special!, et 
pro bono servicio quod dilectus valettus noster, 
Galfridus Chaucer, nobis impendit, et impendet 
in futurum, concessimus ei viginti marcas, 
percipiendas singulis annis ad scaccarium nos- 
trum, ad terminos Sancti Michaelis et Pasche, 
per equales portiones, ad totam vitam ipsius 
Galfridi, vel quousque pro statu suo aliter 
duxerimus ordinandum. 

In cujus, &c. 

Teste rege apud castrum de Quenesburgh, 
vicesimo die Junii. 

Per breve de privato sigillo. 

Pat. 41 E. 3, p. 1, m. 13. 


No. VI. 


K.EX omnibus ad quos, &c. salutem. 1370. 

Sciatis quod, de gratia nostra speciali, et pro 
bono servicio quod dilecta nobis, Alicia de 
Preston, nuper domicella Philippe, nuper regine 
Anglie, consortis nostre, eidem consorti nostre, 
dum vixit, impendit, concessimus ei decern 
niarcas, percipiendas singulis annis ad scac- 
carium nostrum, ad terminos Pasche et Sancti 
Michaelis, ad totam vitam ipsius Alicie, per 
equales portiones. 

In cujus, &c. 

Teste rege apud Westmonasterium vicesimo 
die Januarii. 

CONSIMILES literas habent subscripte, 
nuper domicelle ipsius regine, de summis sub- 
scriptis, ad scaccarium predictum, ad totam 
vitam suam percipiendis, sub eadem data; 

Matillis Fisher, de decem marcis per annum. 

Johanna Kauley, de decem marcis per annum. 

Elizabeth Pershore, de decem marcis per 


Johanna Cosin, de centum solidis per annum. 

Philippa Pycard, de centum solidis per an- 

Agatha Lyngeyn, de centum solidis per an- 

Matillis Radescroft, de quinque maicis per 

Agnes de Saxilby, de quinque marcis per 

Pat. 43, E, 3, p. 2, m. L 


No. VII. 


(jALFRIDUS Chaucer, qui in obsequium 
nostrum ad partes transmarinas de precepto 
nostro profecturus est, habet literas regis de 
proteccione, cum clausula, Volumus, &c. usque 
ad festum Sancti Michaelis proximo futurum 

Presentibus, &c. 

Teste rege apud Westmonasterium, vicesimo 
die Jnnii. 

Pat, 44 E. 3, p, 2, m. 20. 





1372. Rex univ^ersis et singulis ad quorum notitiara 
presentes litere pervenerint, salutem. 

Noveritis quodnos, 

De fidelitate et circumspeccione provida 
dilectorum et fidelium nostrorum, 

Jacobi Pronan, 

Johannis de Mari, civis Januensis, 

Et Galfridi Chaucer, scutiferi nostri, 
plenam fiduciam reportantes, 

Ipsos, Jacobum, Johannem et Galfridum, et 
duos ipsorum (quorum prefatum Johannem 
imum esse volumus), nuncios et procuratores 
nostros facimus et constituimus speciales : 

Dantes et committentes eis plenam, tenore 
presentium, potestatem et mandatum speciale 
tractandi pro nobis, et in nomine nostro, cum 
nobili viro, Dominico de Campo Fregoso, duce 
Januensi, te ejus concilio, nee non civibus, 
probis hominibus, et communitate civitatis- 

Super eo (videlicet), quod iidem cives, et 


probi homines, ac mercatores ejusdem civitatis, 
inhabitationem suam, in aliquo loco, seu villa 
aliqua, super costeram maris in regno nostro 
Anglie, pro applicatione carricarum et navium 
dicte civitatis cum bonis et mercandisis eo- 
rumdem civium et mercatorum, aptam et com- 
petentem habere valeant. 

Nee non super franchesiis, libertatibus, im- ■ 
munitatibus et privilegiis, eisdem civibus et 
mercatoribus ad dictum locum et alibi in dictum 
regnum nostrum causa mercandisandi ac- 
cessuris vel moraturis, per nos concedendis, 

Et ad nos, de omnibus et singulis que sic 
inter nos et ipsos, ducem et concilium suum, ac 
cives, mercatores et communitatem, tractata 
fuerint, distincte et aperte certificandum. 

In cujus,. &c. 

Datum apud Westmonasterium, duodecimo 
die Novembris, anno regni nostri Francie 
tricesimo tertio, regni vero nostri Anglie qua- 
dragesimo sexto. 

Franc. 46 E= 3, m. 8. 


No. IX. 

xCEX omnibus ad quos, &c. salutem. 

Sciatis quod, de gratia nostra speciali, con- 
cessimus dilecto armigero nostro, Galfrido 
Chaucer, unum pycher vini, percipiendum 
quolibet die in portu civitatis nostre Londonie, 
, per manus pincerne nostri vel heredum nos- 
trorum pro tempore existentis, vel ejusdem 
pincerne locum tenentis, ad totam vitam ipsius 

In cujus, &c. 

Teste rege apud Wyndesore, vicesimo tertio 
die Aprilis. 

Per hrexe de privato sigillo. 

Pat. 48, E. 3, p. 1, m. 20 


No. X. 


IvEX omnibus ad quos, &c. salutem. 

Sciatis quod concessimus dilecto nobis, Gal- 
frido Chaucer, officium contrarotulatoris cus- 
tume et subsidii lanarum, coriorum, et pellium 
lanatarum, in portu Londonie, habendum 
quamdiu nobis placuerit, 

Percipiendo in officio illo tantum, quantum 
alii contrarotulatores custunie et subsidii hujus- 
modi in portu predicto hactenus percipere 
consueverunt : 

Ita quod idem Galfridus rotulos suos, dictum 
officitimtangentes, manu sua propria scribat, et 
continue moretur ibidem, et omnia que ad 
officium illud pertinent, in propria persona sua, 
et non per substitutum suum, faciat et exe- 

Et quod altera pars sigiUi, quod dicitur coket, 
in custodia ipsius Galfridi remaneat, quamdiu 
officium habuerit supradictum. 

In cujus, &c. 

Teste meipso apuc^ Westmonasterium, octavo 
die Junii. 

Per brem de privato sigillo. 

Pat. 48 E. 3, p. 1, m. 7v 

VpL. IV. T 



No. XI. 



K-EX omnibus, &c. salutem. 

Sciatis quod, de gratia nostra speciali, com- 
misimus dilecto scutifero nostro, Galfrido 
Chaucer, custodiam omnium terrarum et tene- 
mentorum, cum pertinenciis, que fuerunt Ed- 
mund i Stapelgate defuncti, qui de nobis tenuit 
in capite, et que, per mortem ejusdem Edmundi, 
et ratione minoris etatis heredis ejusdem Ed- 
mundi, in manu nostra existunt, habendam, 
cum omnibus ad custodiam illam spectantibus, 
usque ad legitimam etatem heredis predicti, 

Una cum maritagio ejusdem heredis sine 

Absque aliquo nobis inde reddendo, seu 
solvendo, pro custodia et maritagio predictis, 

Ita quod idem Galfridus vastum et destruc- 
cionem in eisdem terriset tenementis non faciat; 
set servicia rearia, et omnia alia honora, eisdem 
terris et tenementis incumbentia, faciat et 
sustentet, quamdiu custodiam habuerit supra- 

In cujus, &c. 


Teste rege apiicl Westmonasteriiim, octavo 
die Novembris. 

. Per hrt'oe de pivato sigillo 

Pat. 49 E. 3, p. 2, m. 8. 




No. XII. 

1376. IvEX omnibus ad quos, &c. salutem. 

Sciatis quod, de gratia nostra special!, con- 
cessimus dilecto armigero nostro, Galfrido 
Chaucer, sexaginta et undecim libras, quatuor 
solidos, et sex denarios, de precio septem 
saccorum et dimidii, trium petrarum, et sex 
librarum lane, nobis forisfacturorum, pro eo 
quod Johannes Kent de Londonia lanas illas 
usque Durdraught, absque custuma sen sub- 
sidio nobis inde solutis, seu licencia inde a 
nobis habita, duxit, et quam quidem summam 
versus ipsum Johannem ex causa predicta re- 
cuperavimus, ut dicitur, habendas de dono 

In cujus, &c. 

Teste rege apud Westmonasterium, duo- 
decimo die Julii. 

^er ipsum regem, 7mnciante 
Rogero de Bellocampo, ca- 
merario regis. 
Pat. 50 E. 3, p. 1, m. 5. 


No. xiir. 


CjALFRIDUS Chaucer, armiger regis, qui in 1377. 
obsequium regis, in quibusdam secretis negociis 
regis, ad partes transmarinas de precepto regis 
profecturus est, habet literas regis de pro- 
teccione, cum clausula, Volumus, &c. usque 
ad festum Sancti Michaelis proxime futurum 

Presentibus, &c. 

Teste rege apud Westmonasterium, duo- 
decimo die Februarii. 

Franc. 51 E. 3, m. 7- 


No. XIV. 


1371. (jALFRIDUS Chaucer, qui m obsequium 
nostrum ad partes transmarinas de precepto 
iiostro profecturus est, habet literas regis de 
proteccione, cum clausula, Volumus, &c. usque 
ad festum Sancti Petri de Vinculis proxime 
futurum duraturas. 

Presentibus, &c. 

Teste rege apud Westmonasterium, vicesimo 
octavo die Apriiis. 

Franc. 51 E. 3, m. 5. 


No. XV. 


JDECEDENTE, cle nutu sunimi preceptoris, 1311. 
felicissimo, serenissimo et potenti rege Anglie 
et Francie, domino Edwardo Tertio post Con- 
questum, vicesimo primo die mensis Junii, anno 
Domini millesimo trecentesimo septuagesimo 
septimo, et anno regni sui quinquagesimo primo, 
successit ei rex Ricardus Secundus, filius Ed- 
wardi, nuper principis Wallie, primogeniti dicti 
regis Edwardi; et, cum tractaretur et provisum 
fuisset de solempniis coronacionis ipsius regis 
Ricardi, die Jovis, in crastino translacionis 
Beati Swithini tunc proxime sequentis cele- 

Johannes, rex Castelle et Legionis, dux 
Lancastrie, coram dicto domino rege et consilio 
suo comparens, clamavit, ut comes Leycestrie, 
ofiicium senescalie Anglie, et ut dux Lancastrie, 
ad gerendum principalem gladium domini regis, 
vocatum Curtana, die coronacionis ejusdem 
regis, et ut comes Lincolnie, ad scindendum et 


ad secandum coram ipso domino rege sfedente 
ad mensam dicto die coionacionis, &c. &c. &c. 

ET MEMORANDUM, quod prefatus dux, 
die Jovis proximo ante coronacionem pre- 
dictam, sedebat, de precepto regis, tanquam 
senescallus Anglie, in alba aula regii palacii 
Westmonasterii, prope capellam regalem, et 
inquirebat diligenter que et qualia officia, seu 
feoda, dicto die per quoscunque facielida vel 
optinenda fuerant : 

Et, cum, hoc eodem die Jovis, publice 
proclamari fecit, quod tam magnates quam alii, 
qui alia officia ad coronacionem predictam 
facere, seu feoda aliqua optinere, clamare vel- 
lent, billas et petitiones suas, clamea sua 
continentes, coram ipso senescallo, vel ejus in 
hac parte locum tenentibus, preferri facerent 
indilate : 

Super quo diversa officia et feoda, tam per 
petitiones quam oretenus, coram ipso senescallo 
exacta et vendicata extiterunt, in forma que 
subsequitur : 

[Inter alia:'] 
ITEM predictus comes Arundellie porrexit 
in curiam quandam aliam petitionem in hec 
verba : 


AL ROI de Castelle et de Lyons, due de 
Lancastre, et seneschall d'Engleterre, supplie 
Richard comte de Arundelle et de Surraie, de 
lui recevre affaire son office de chief butiler, 
quel lui appartient de droit pur le comte 
d'Arundelle, recevant les feez et duez : 

Et super hoc quidam Edmundus, fiHus et 
heres Edmundi de Staplegate, exhibuit quan- 
dam aham petitionem sub hac forma : 

A MON tres honer seigneur, le roi de Castelle 
et de Lyons, due de Lancastre, et seneschall 
d'Engleterre, monstre Esmond, fitz et heir 
Esmond Stablegait, que, come le dit Esmond, 
tient de nostre seigneur le roi en chief le manoir 
de Bilsynton en le comte de Kent, par les 
services clestre botiller de nostre seigneur le roi 
a sa coronement, come pleinement appiert en 
le livre des fees de serjanties en Lescheqer nostre 
seigneur le roi, et a cause que le dit Esmond 
le pier morust seisi de mesme le manoir en son 
demesne come de fee; mesme cest Esmond le 
fitz adonque esteant demz age, nostre seigneur 
le roi, laiel nostre seigneur le roi ^ qore, est 
seisit le dit Esmond le fitz en sa garde, par 

qui or est. 


cause que fuist trove en mesme le livere que le 
dit manoir fuist tenuz par an par tieux services, 
et prist les profitz de mesme le manoir par 
quatre anz come de sa garde, et puis commist 
la dite garde ove le mariage de dit Esmond le 
fitz a GefFray Chausyer; pour que le garde et 
mariage le dit Esmond le fitz paia au dit 
Geifray cent et quatre livres : par quoi le dit 
Esmond le fitz soi profre de faire le dit office de 
botiller, et prie qil a ce soit receu, prenant les 
fees au dit office ancienement duez et custum- 
ables : 

INTELLECTIS autem petitionibus pre- 
dictis, auditisque quam plurimis recordis, 
rationibus et evidenciis, tam pro prefato comite, 
quam pro predicto Edmundo, curie monstratis, 
videbatur curie dictum negocium, propter 
multiplicationem negociorum et temporis bre- 
vitatem, ante predictam coronacionem finaliter 
discuti non posse : et eo pretextu ; 

Necnon pro eo quod per recordum de scac- 
cario est compertum, quod antecessores ipsius 
comitis, postquam dictum manerium de Bil- 
syngton ab eis alienatum extitit, fuerunt in 
possessione dicti officii temporibus hujusmodi 
coronacionum ; 

Et non est compertum nee allegatum pro 


predicto Edmimdo, quod aliquis antecessorum 
suorum aliquo teinpore fecit officium pre- 
dictuni ; 

DiGtum fuit prefato comiti quod ipse officium 
predictum ad presentem coronacionem faceret, 
et feoda debita perciperet : 

Jure ipsius Edmundi, seu aliorum quorum- 
cunque, in omnibus semper salvo. 

Et sic idem comes officium illud perfecit. 
Ciaus. 1 R % m. 45- 


No. XVI. 



[3SI. GaLFRIDO Chaucer, — cui dominus rex Ed- 
vardus, avus regis hujus, viginti marcas anniias, 
ad scaccarium ad totam vitam suam percipi- 
endas, pro bono servitio per ipsum eidem 
domino regi Edvardo impenso, per literas suas 
patentes concessit, quas quidem literas dominus 
rex nunc confirmavit, — in denariis sibi liberatis, 
per assignacionem sibi factara, is to die, in 
persolucionem decern marcarum sibi liberand- 
arum de hujusmodi certo suo, videlicet, pro 
termino Pasch® ultimo prceterito, per breve 
suum de liberato hoc termino. 

vi^ xiij^ iiij^. 
EidemGalfrido, — cui dominus rex nunc viginti 
marcas annuas, ad scaccarium ad totam vitam 
suam percipiendas, pro bono servitio per ipsum 
eidem domino regi impenso et impendendo, et 
in recompensacionem unius picher^e vini, per 
dictum dominum regem Edvardum concess^e, 
quolibet die in portu civitatis Londonige per 
manus pincernee ejusdem regis avi et haeredum 
suorum, ad totam vitam ipsius Galfridi, per- 


cipiendas, ultra prsedictas viginti sibi per dictum 
avum concessas, et per dictum dominum regem 
nunc confirmatas, per literas suas patentes con- 
cessit, — in denariis sibi liberatis, per eandem 
assignacionem, in persolucionem decern mar- 
carum sibi liberandarum de hiijusmodi certo 
suo, videlicet, pro termino Paschse praeterito, 
per breve suum de liberato inter mandata de 
hoc termino. 

vi* xiij* iiij'*. 
Philippte Chaucer, — nuper uni domicellarum 
Philippe, nuper reginse Anglise, cui dominus rex' 
Edvardus, avus regis hujus, decem marcas 
annuas, ad scaccarium ad totam vitam suani 
percipiendas, pro bono servitio per ipsam, tarn 
eidem domino regi,quam dictge regin^,impenso, 
per literas suas patentes concessit, quas quidem 
literas dominus rex nunc confirmavit, — in dena- 
riis sibi liberatis, per manus prsedicti Galfridi, 
mariti sui, in persolucionem quinque marcarum 
sibi liberandarum de hujusmodi certo suo, 
videlicet, pro termino Pasch^ proximo prseterito 
per breve suum de liberato inter mandata de 
hoc termino. 

^ Ixvj^ viij^. 
Rymer, Mss, in Museo Britannico, 
Ric. II. Vol. II. 


No. XVII. 


J382. ixEX omnibus ad quos, &c. salutem. 

Sciatis quod concessimus dilecto nobis, Gal" 
frido Chaucer, officium contrarotulatoris parve 
custume nostre in portu Londonie, habendum 
et exercendum, per se, vel sufficientem depu- 
tatum suum pro quo respond ere voluerit, 
quamdiu nobis placuerit, 

Percipiendo in officio illo vadia consueta : 

Volentes quod altera pars sigilli nostri, quod 
dicitur coket, in portu predicto, in custodia 
ipsius Galfridi, seu dicti deputati sui, remaneat, 
quamdiu officium habuerit supradictum. 

In cujus, &c. 

Teste rege apud Westmonasterium, octava 
die Maii. 

Pat. 5 R. 2, p. % m. U, 


No. X?IIL 


JvEX collectoribus custumarum et subsidiomm 1334, 
suorum in porta Londonie, salutem. 

Quia licenciam dedimus dilecto nobis, Gal- 
frido Cliaucire, contrarotulatori nostro custu- 
marum et subsidiorum predictorum in porta 
predicto, quod ipse se per unum mensem, pro 
quibusdam urgentibus negociis ipsura tangen- 
tibus, a portu predicto absentare possit, 

Ita quod sufficientem deputatum suum, ad 
officium predictum bene et fideliter per idem 
tempus faciendum et exercendum, pro quo 
respondere voluerit, faciat, 

Vobis mandamus, quod, capto sacramento 
de sufficiente deputato ejusdem Galfridi, de 
officio predicto in absentia sua bene et fideliter 
faciendo, predictum Galfridum ab officio suo 
predicto per tempus predictum absentare per 

Teste regeapud Westmonasterium, vicesimo 
quinto die Novembris. 

Per ipsum regem. 

Claus. 8 R. 2, m. 30. 


No. XIX. 


13^85. JKEX omnibus ad quos, &c. salutem. 

Sciatis quod, de gratia nostra speciali, con- 
cessimus, et licenciam dedimus dilecto nobis, 
Galfrido Chaucer, contrarotulatori custumarum 
et subsidiorum nostrorum in portu civitatis 
nostre Londonie, quod ipse officium predictum, 
per sufficientem deputatum suum pro quo 
respondere voluerit, facere et exercere possit, 
quamdiu idem Galfridus in officio steterit 

Absque impedimento collectorum custum- 
arum et subsidiorum nostrorum predictorum in 
portu predicto pro tempore existentium, seu 
aliorum quorumcunque. 

In cujus, &c. . 

Teste rege apud Westmonasterium decimo 
septimo die Februarii. 

Per ipsum regem. 

Pat. 8R. 2, p % m. 31. 


No. XX. 


Rex omnibus ad quos, &c. salutem. 138S. 

Sciatis quod, 

Cum nos, vicesimo tercio Marcii, anno regni 
nostri primo, per literas nostras patentes, sub 
magno sigillo nostro, approbaverimus et con- 
firmaverimus concessionem factam dilecto armi- 
gero nostro, Galfrido Chaucer, per dominum 
Edwardum, nuper regem Angiie, avum nostrum, 
de viginti marcia, percipiendis singulis annis 
ad scaccarium nostrum, ad terminos Sancti 
Michaelis et Pasche, per equales portiones, ad 
totam vitam ipsius Galfridi, vel quousque idem 
avus noster pro statu suo aliter duceret ordi- 
nandum : 

Ac postmodo, decimo octavo Aprilis, anno 
predicto, per quasdam alias literas nostras 
patentes, sub magno sigillo nostro, concesseri- 
mus eidem Galfrido, in recompensacionem 
unius pycher vini per diem, per prefatum avum 
nostrum, eidem Galfrido concessi, et pro bono 
servicio quod ipse nobis impendebat et impen- 
deret, viginti marcas, percipiendas singulis 
VOL. II. u 


annis ad scaccarium nostrum, ad totam vitam 
ipsius Galfridi, ad teraiinos Sancti Michaelis et 
Pasche, per equales portiones (ultra viginti 
marcas sibi per prefatum avum nostrum con- 
cessas, per dictas literas suas patentes per nos 
confirmatas, percipiendas ad terminos predictos, 
per equales portiones, ut predictum est, prout 
in eisdem Uteris plenius continetur) : 

Nos, ad supplicationem prefati Galfridi, pro 
eo quod ipse dictas literas nostras nobis in 
cancellaria nostra restituit cancellandas, 

De gracia nostra speciali, et pro bono servicio 
quod dilectus nobis, Johannes Scalby, nobis 
impendet in futurum, concessimus eidem 
Jolianni dictas quadraginta marcas percipi- 
' endas singulis annis ad scaccarium nostrum, 
ad terminos Sancti Michaelis et Pasche, per 
equales portiones, ad totam vitam ipsius Jo- 
liannis, vel quousque pro statu suo aliter 
duxerimus ordinandum. 

In cujus, &c. 

Teste rege apud Westmonasterium, primo 
die Maii. 

Per brete de pr'waio sigillo, 

Pat. 11 R. J2, p. 2, m. 1. 


No. XXL 


IvEX omnibus et singulis vicecomitibus, ma- 1389. 
joribus, ballivis, ministris, et aliis fidelibus suis, 
tam infra liber tates quam extra, ad quos, &c. 

Sciatis quod nos, 

De fidelitate & circumspeccione dilecti nobis 
Galfridi Chaucer confidentes, 

Constituimus et assignavimus ipsum Gal- 
fridum clericum operacionum nostrarum apud 
palacium nostrum Westmonasterii, turrim nos- 
tram Londonie, castrum de Berkhamstedcj 
maneria nostra de Kenyngton, Eltham, Claryn-* 
don, Shene, Byflete, Childerne-Langeley et 
Feckenham, necnon logiam nostram de Ha- 
thebergh in foresta nostra de Nova Foresta, ac 
.logias nostras infra parcos nostros de Clary ndon, 
Childerne-Langeley et Feckenham, et mutas 
nostras pro falconibus nostris juxta Charyng- 
crouch ; necnon gardinorum, stagnorum, mo- 
lendinorum ac clausurarum, tam parcorum pre- 
dictorum, quam omnium aliorum parcorum 
ad eadem palacium, turrim, castra, maneria. 
logias et mutas pertinentium : 

XJ 2 


£t ad latomos, carpentarios, et alios opera^ 
fios et laboratores quoscunque, qui operacionibus 
nostris predictts necessarii fuerint, ubicunque in- 
veniri poterunt, infra libertates et extra (feodo 
ecclesie dumtaxat excepto), per se et deputatos 
suos, eligendos et capiendos, et in dictis opera- 
cionibus nostris ponendos, super eisdem opera- 
cionibus nostris ad vadia nostra moraturos : 

Ac eciam ad petras, meremium, tegulas, cin- 
dulas, vitrum, ferrum, plumbum, et omnia alia, 
necessaria pro operacionibus nostris predictis, ac 
cariagium pro eisdem petris, meremio, tegulis, 
cindulis, vitro, ferro, pi umbo, et aliis necessariis, 
ad loca predicta, pro denariis nostris per ipsum 
Galfridum solvendis, per se et deputatos suos ca- 
piendis et providendis : 

Nee non ad quascunque soluciones, tam pro 
vadiis dictorum operariorum, quam pro emp- 
cionibus, providenciis, et cariagiis, et aliis misis 
et expensis quibuscunque, dictas operaciones qua-f 
litercunque tangentibus, per visum et testimo- 
nium contrarotulatoris nostri operacionum predic* 
tarum pro tempore existentis, faciendas : 

Et ad computandum de denariis quos super ex- 
pensis operacionum predictarumpercipiet per visum 
ct testimonium prefati contrarotulatoris : 


Et ad operarios, qui pro operacionlbus predictis, 
retenti fuerint, qui ab eisdem operacionibus sine 
iicencia nostra, vel ipsius Galfridi, recesserint, 
reducendos ; et ad omnes quos in hac parte con- 
trarios invenerit seu rebelles, arestandum et ca- 
piendum et eos in prisonis nostris mancipandos, 
in eisdem moraturos, quousque securitatem in- 
venerint de serviendo in operacionibus nostris, 
prout eis injungetur ex parte nostra : 

Et ad inquirendum per sacramentum proborum 
et legalium hominum de comitatu ubi opus fuerit, 
per quos rei Veritas melius sciri poterit, si mere- 
mium vel petre, tegule vel cindule, vitrum, fer- 
rum, plumbum, seu alia necessariaj pro dictis ope- 
racionibus empta et provisa, asportata vel elon- 
gata fuerint ; et ad eadem meremium, petras, 
tegulas, cindulas, vitrum, ferrum, plumbum, seu 
alia necessaria, sic elongata, ubicunque fuerint, 
infra libertates et extra, reduci et restitui fa. 
cienda : 

Et ad ramos, corticem, et alia residua de ar- 
boribus pro dictis operacionibus provisis ad opus 
nostrum, per visum et testimonium dicti contra- 
rotulatoris vendenda, et nobis de denariis inde pro- 
venientibus respondendum : 

Percipiendo pro vadiis suis in officio predicto 


duos solidos per diem de denarlls nostris supra- 

Et ideo vobis mandamus, quod eidem Galfrido, 
ac deputatis suis, in premissis omnibus et singulis 
faciendis et exequendis intendentes sitis, consul- 
entes et auxiliantes, quociens et prout per ipsum 
Galfridum, seu deputatos suos, ex parte nostra 
fueritis requisiti. 

In cujus, &c. quamdiu idem Galfridus se bene et 
fideliter in eodem officio gesserit, duraturas. 

Teste rege apud castrum de Wyndesore, duode- 
cimo die Julii. 

Per breve de privato sigillo. 

Pat. 13 R. 2, p. 1, m. 30. 


No. XXII. 


Rex dilecto armlgero nostro Galfrido Chaucer, isyo. 
clerico operaclonum nostrarum, salutem. 

Scias quod assignavimus te ad capellam nostram 
colleglalem Sancti Georgii infra castrum nostrum 
de Wyndesore, que minatur rulne, et in punctu 
ad terram cadendi existit, nisi cicius facta et 
emendata fuerit, sufficientem fieri faciendam : 

Et ad latomos, carpentarios, et alios operarios 
ac laboratores, pro operacionibus ejusdem capelle 
necessarios, ubicunque, infra libertates vel extra 
(feodo ecclesie excepto), inveniri poterunt, per te 
et deputatos tuos, eligendos et capiendos, et eos 
super operacionibus predictis ponendos, ibidem 
ad vadia nostra, quamdiu indiguerit, moraturos : 

Et ad petras, meremium, vitrum, plumbum, 
et omnia alia pro operacionibus predictis neces- 
saria, et etiam cariagium pro premissis ad castrum 
nostrum predictum, ad locum ubi dicta capella 
facta fuerit, ducenda et capienda, pro denariis 
nostris rationabiliter solvenda, tam pro premissis, 
quam pro cariagio predicto, per supervisum et testi- 


monlum contrarotulatoris operacionum nostrarum 
palacii nostri Wesmonasterii : 

Et ad omnes illos, quos in hac parte con- 
trarios inveneris seu rebelleSj capiendos, et pri- 
sonis nostris mancipandos, ibidem moraturos, 
quousque de eis aliter duxerimus ordinandum. 

Et ideo tibi precepimus quod circa premissa di- 
ligenter intendas et exequaris in forma predicta. 

Damus autem universis et singulis vicecomi- 
tibus, majoribus, ballivis, ministris, et aliis fide- 
libus et subditis nostris, tam infra libertates quam 
extra, tenore presentium, in mandatis, quod tibi 
et deputatis tuis predictis intendentes sint, con- 
sulentes et auxiliantes, prout decet. 

In cujus, &c. per triennium duraturas. 

Teste rege apud Westmonasterium, duodecimo 
die Julii, 

Per billam de prlvato sigillo. 

REX dilecto nostro, Willelmo Hanney, con- 
trarotulatori operacionum palacii nostri Wesmona- 
sterii, salutem. 

Sciatis quod. 

Cum, per literas nostras patentes, assignave- 
rimus dilectum armigerum nostrum, Galfridum 
Chaucer, clericum operacionum nostrarum, ad 
capellam nostram collegialem, 'i^c, ut supra usque 
ibi supervisum, ts' tunc sic, et testimonium vestr^. 


prout in Uteris patentibus inde confectis plenius 

Nos, de fidelitate et circumspeccione vestris 
plenius confidentes, assignavimus vos, ad quos- 
cunque denarios per prefatum Galfridum, super 
reparationem et emendacionem capelle predicte 
apponendos, et pro cariagio et aliis premissis sol- 
vendos, contrarotulandum, et super computo suo 
ad scaccarium nostrum testificandum : 

Et ideo vobis mandamus quod circa premissa di-, 
ligenter intendatis, et ea faciatis et exequamini in 
forma predicta. 

In cujus, &;c. per triennium duraturas. 

Teste, vt supra. 

Per bill am de privato sigillo. 

Pat. 14 R. 2, p. 1, m. 'i^. 




1S94. JtvEX omnibus ad quos, &c. salutem. 

Sciatis quod, de gracia nostra special!, et pro 
bono servicio quod dilectus armiger noster, Gal- 
fridus Chaucer, nobis impendit, et impendet in 
futurum, concessimus eldem Galfrido viginti li- 
bras, percipiendas singulis annis ad scaccarium no- 
strum, ad terminos Pasche et Sancti Michaelis, per 
equales portiones, ad totam vitam suam. 
In cujus, &c. 

Teste rege apud Westmonasterium, vicesirao 
octavo die Februarii. 

Per breve de privato sigillo. 

Pat. 17 R. 2, p. % m. 35. 


No. XXIV. 


Rex omnibus ballivis et fidelibus suis ad quos 1 398. 
presentes litere pervenerint, salutem. 

Sciatis quod. 

Cum dilectum armigerum nostrum, Galfridum 
Chaucer, ad quamplura ardua et urgencia negocia 
nostra, tam in absentia quam in presentia nostris, 
in diversis partibus, infra regnum nostrum Anglie, 
facienda et expedienda, ordinaverimus, 

Idemque Galfridus timeat, se, per quosdam 
emulos SLios, per quamplures querelas sive sectas, 
dum sic negociis nostris intenderit, inquietari, mo- 
lestari, sive implacitari, et nobis supplicaverit, ut 
sibi in hac parte subvenire velimus, 


Volentes pro securitate ipsius Galfridi prospicere 

Suscepimus ipsum Galfridum, ac homines, ter- 
ras, res, redditus et omnes possessiones suas, in 
proteccionem et defensionem nostras speciales : 

Nolentes quod ipse, a data presentium, per duos 
annos integros, ad cujuscunque persone sectam, 
nuUatenus arrestetur, seu aliqualiter impkcitetur j 


set quod ipse de omnimodis placltis et querelis 
(placitis terre duntaxat exceptis) per tempus pre- 
dictum omnino sit quietus : 

Et ideo vobis mandamuSj quod ipsum Gal- 
fridum^ homines, terras, res, redditus, et omnes- 
possessiones suas, manufeeneatis, protegatis et de- 
fendatis, juxta vim, formam et effectum presen- 
tium literarum nostrarum, 

Non inferentes eis, seu, quantum in vobis est, 
ab aliis inferri permittentes, injuriam, molestiam, 
dampnum, violentiam, impedimentum aliquod, seu 
gravamen ; 

Et, si quid eis forisfactum, sive injuriatum 
fuerit, id eis sine dilatione, debite corrigi et emend- 
ari faciatis. 

In cujus, &c. per biennium duraturas. 

Teste rege apud Westmonasterium, quarto die 

Per ipswn regem* 

Pat. 21 R. 2, p, 3, m, 2^. 


No. XXV. 


IvEX omnibus ad quos, &c, salutem. 139S. 

Sciatis quod, de gracia nostra speciali, conces- 
simus dilecto armigero nostro, Galfrido Chaucer, 
unum dollum vini, perclplendurn singulis annis, a 
primo die Decembris ultiml preteriti, durante vita 
sua, in portu civitatis nostre Londonie, per manus 
capitalis pincerne nostri, seu deputati sui, ibidem 
pro tempore existentis. 

In cujus, &c. 

Teste rege apud Westmonasterium, decimo 
quinto die Octobris. 

Per breve de prhato sigillo, 

Pat. 22 R. 2, p. 1, m. 8. 

This patent -differs only in a few subordinate 
■particulars from that which Rymer has printed from 
the same roll, m. 5, dated two days earlier, and sub- 
scribed. Per ipsum regem. 

302 ' APPENDIX. 

No. XXVI. 


1.^99. IvEX omnibus ad quos, &c. salutem. 

Sciatis quod, de gracia nostra speciali, et pro 
bono servicio quod dilectus armiger noster, Gal- 
fridus Chaucer^ nobis impendit, et impendet, con- 
cessimus eidem, Galfrido quadraginta marcas, 
percipiendas singulis annis, durante vita sua, ad 
scaccarium nostrum, ad termlnos Pasche et Sancti 
MIchaelis, per equales portlones, ultra illas viglnti 
llbras sibi per domlnum Ricardum nuper regem 
Anglie Secundum post Conquestum concessas, et 
per nos confirmatas, percipiendas durante vita sua 
ad scaccarium nostrum supradictum. 
In cujus, &c. 

Teste rege apud Westmonasterlum, tercio de- 
cimo die Octobris. 

Per breve de prhato sigillo. 

Pat. 1 H. 4, p. 5, m. 12. 




KEX omnibus ad quos, &c. salutem. 

Constat nobis per inspeccionem rotulorum, 
cancellarie domini Ricardi, nuper regis Anglie, 
Secundi post Conquestum, quod idem nuper rex; 
literas suas patentes fieri fecit in hec verba, 

Ricardus, &c. [vide No. XXIII.] 

Constat etiam nobis, per inspeccionem rotu- 
lorum cancellarie ejusdem nuper regis, quod idem 
nuper rex alias literas suas patentes fieri fecit in 
hec verba, 

Ricardus, &c. [vide No. XXV.] 

Nos, pro eo quod idem Galfridus, coram nobis in 
cancellaria nostra personaliter constitutus, sacra- 
mentum prestitit corporale, quod litere predicte 
casualiter sunt amisse, tenorem inrotulamenti 
earumdem literarum duximus exemplificandum 
per presentes. 

In cujus, &c. 

Teste rege apud Westmonasterium, decimo oc- 
tavo die Octobris. 

Per ipsum regem, 

Pat. 1 H. 4, p. 1, m. 18. 





I39y. " HeC indentura, facta apud Westmonasterium, 
in vigilia natalis Domini, anno regni regis Henrici 
Quarti post Conquestum primo. 

Testatur quod frater Robertus Hermodesworth, 
commonachus et custos capeile Beate Marie West- 
monasterii, ex unanimi assensu et consensu domini 
abbatis, prioris, et conventus Westmonasterii pre- 
dicti, concessit, dimisit, et ad firmam tradidit, 
Galfrido Chancers, armigero, unum tenementum, 
cum suis pertinenciis, situatum in gardino ca- 
peile predicte. 

Habendum et tenendum tenementum predic- 
fum, cum suis pertinenciis, eidem Galfrido a vigilia 
natalis Domini predicti, usque ad nnem et ter- 
minum quinquaginta et trium annorum, extunc 
proxime sequentium, et plenarie completorum. 

Reddendo inde annuatim custodi capeile pre- 
dicte, qui pro tempore fuerit, seu ejus certo at- 
tornato, ad quatuor anni terminos usuales equaliter, 
quinquaginta tres solidos et quatuor denarios ster- 
lingorum : 


Et, SI dicta firma quinquaginta trlum solldo-' 
rum et quatuor denariorum, ad aliquem ter- 
minum quo solvi debeat, in parte, vel in toto, 
per quindecim dies a retro fuerit non soluta, 
tunc bene liceat custodi capelle predicte, qui pro 
tempore fuerit, aut ejus attornato, in dicto tene- 
mento, cum pertinentiis, distringere, et districtiones 
captas abducere, asportare, et penes se retineri, 
quousque de dicta firma, et arreragiis ejusdem, si 
que fuerint, sibi plenarie fuerit satisfactum : Et, si 
nulla sufficiens districtio in dicto tenemento, cum 
pertinentiis, inveniri poterit, quod tunc bene licebit 
custodi dicte capelle, qui pro tempore fuerit, ir;i 
dictum tenementura, cum suis pertinentiis, rein- 
trare, et in pristino statu suo tenere, presentibus in- 
denturis non ob stantibus : 

Et dictus Galfridus tenementum predictum, 
cum suis pertinentiis, sumptibus et custis suis pro- 
priis, durante dicto termino, sustentabit, reparabit 
ac manutenebit ^ et illud in adeo bono statu et re- 
paratu quo in principio recepit, seu meliori, custodi 
ejusdem capelle, qui pro tempore fuerit, in fine 
termini sui predicti, sursum liberabit et dimittet : 

Et non licebit predicto Galfrido tenementum 
predictum, nee aliquam parcellam ejusdem, infra 
idem tempus alicui dimittere, seu ad firmam tra- 
dere, nee aliquem, privelegia et libertates seu im- 
munitates ecclesie Westmonasterii predicte peten- 



tern, in eodem tenemento recipere, seu hospitarl, 
sine licentia custodis dicte capelle, qui pro tem- 
pore fuerit, et sacriste Westmonasterii predicti, spe» 
ciali : 

Et, si dictus Galfridas infra tempus predictum 
obierit, tunc bene licebit custodi capelle predicte, 
qui pro tempore fuerit, in dictum tenementum, 
cum suis pertinentiis, statim post obitum ejusdem 
Galfridi, reintrare, et in pristine statu suo tenere, 
presentibus indenturis non obstantibus. 

In cujus rei testimonium, tam sigillum fratris 
Roberti, custodis predicti officii sui, quo utitur, 
quam sigillum predicti Galfridi, partibus presentis 
indenture alternatim sunt appensa. 

Datum loco, die et anno supradictis." 

E.V autogTapIio (sigiUis carente) in Archkis 
Decani et Capituli Westmonasterii, 



ABBOT OF MISRULE. See Burlesque Feetivals. 

•^ Abdard, II. 260. 

Achilles, I. 51, 82. 

Ailavi Bell, I. 195. 

Addison, II. 8 8. 

Adrian, pope, I. 470. 

Mmiliani, a Latin name of the minstrels, I. 113. 

Mneid, II 231, III. 5. Its character, I, 470. 

Mollis, his trumpets described in the House of Fame, III. 20. 

Agincourt. See Azincovr- 

Albert, duke of Bavaria, 11. 229, IV. 10. 

Albertus Magnus, II. 267, 279. 

Albigenses, heretics of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries ; their 
doctrines, III. 45. Sanguinary persecutions against them, 46, 47. 

Akestis,'di principal personage in the Legende of Gode Women, III. 
134, 236, 259,260. Feigned to have been metamorphosed into 
a daisy, 248, 255. Worship of her as the Queen of Love super- 
sedes that of Venus among the poets of chivalry, 255, 256. 

Alcinous, I. 51, 93. 

Alcuin, I, II. 

Aldred, archbishop of York, I. 265. 

Ale ; antiquity of the use of, in England, IV. 7* note. 

Alexander, I. 169 note, 400, III. 16. 

Alexander iv., pope, II. 27S. 

Alexander III., king of Scots, I. 132. 

Alfonso, king of Castille. See Alphonso. 

Alfred, I. 11, 92, 112, 222, 223, II. 8r. 

Alice, consort of Lewis the Young, I. 350. 

Allegory^, character of this style in poetry, I. 353, IV. igr. Taste 
for allegorical writing in the time of Chaucer, III. 162, 181. 
Origin of allegorical poetry, 265. Allegorical style of the Par- 
liament of Birds, II. 180. — Of the Romance of the Rose, 240. 
— Of the Visions of Pierce Plowman, III. 373. — Of the Testa- 
ment of Love, IV. 37. 


Anodiiim ; origin of this species of tenure, I. 41. Its change into 
feudal, ibid. — Distinction between them, 43, 

Almamo/i, caliph, I. 23, 323. 

Alphonso X., king of Castilie, I. 26, 324, II. 89. 

Anacreon, 11. 493. 

Anecdote of John of Gaunt, III. 337. Of Shakespear and Jonson, 
IV. 84. 

Anne of Bohemia , wife of Richard 11. ; her character. III. 231, IV. 
102 Note. She patronises Chaucer, who writes at her suggestion the 
Legendeof Gode Women, III. 232, 233, IV. 70. — Procures him 
the appointment of comptroller of the small customs. III. 275, 
276. Favours the doctrines of Wicliffe, 282,314. Intercedes 
with Thomas of Woodstock for the life of sir Simon Burley, IV. 
27. Obtains Chaucer's release from imprisonment, 43. Her 
death; and grief of king Richard at this event, IV. loz note, 
III. 280. 

Amyoi, II. 291. 

Anlaff, king of the Danes, I. 92. 

Anselm, archbishop of Canterbury, I. 266. 

Apollynus of Tyre, Gower's poem of, II. 13, 38, IV, 79. 

Appkdore, William,, a Franciscan friar, murdered by the insurgents 
in 1381, III. 200. 

AquinaSi St. Thomas, I. 26, 309, II. 108, 267, 279. His personal 
history, I. 311. 

Aqv.itaine; the Black Prince settles in, as feudatory lord, II. 226, 301, 
305. Imposition of hearth-money upon his subjects, 343. Discontents 
caused by this measure, 345. Secession of certain of the French 
barons, 346. War, 349. — Campaign in the south, 354. — Aqui- 
taine escheated by the chamber of the peers of France, 381.—^ 
invaded by two French armies, 384 — Revolt and capture of Li- 
moges, ibid., 385- — Retirement of the Black Prince ; John of 
Gaunt appointed lieutenant of Aquitaine, 395. — Affair of Mont- 
paon, 396. — Campaign of 1372, 445. John of Gaunt created 
duke of Aquitaine, IV. 62. 

Archery ; a favourite exercise of the ancient English, I. 184. Its im- 
portance, and various uses, 185. — As an amuscmeiU, ibid. — grand 
shooting-match in the reign oi Elizabeth, 186. — Mention of this 
exercise in our old ballads, ib:d. 

Architecture ; attention paid to tliis art in England in the nuddle ages» 
J. 2i6. Military Architecture, ibid. Its importance in those times, 
ibid. Multitude of castles, 2 iS. Religious Architecture, ibid. Im- 
provement of the science of architecture by the numerous religious 

■ edifices, 219. Policy of the clergy in the cultivation of this study, 
ibid. Its advancement under the Normans, 220. Gothic styles, 

- «i;^.— Origin of this appellation, 221. — Eariy Gothic ; cultivated 
by the Saxons, ibid. — us progressive improvements, 222. — its 

■ diaracteris:ics, ;i/i/.— alteration in the plan of, under the Nor- 
mans, 233, — Latter Gothic style ; conjectures respecting its origin, 
224. — probably invented by the Normdns, 225.— Respective pe- 


riods of each style, I. 226 — Characteristics of the Latter Gothi^ 
ibiJ. — windows of painted glass in cathedrals, 227. — its propen- 
sity to embellishment, ibid., 232. — Propriety of the name Latter 
Gothic, 228. — State of these styles in the time of Chaucer, ibid. 
Gothic and Grecian architecture compared, 229. — The latter 
more graceful and exact, ibid.—The former more religious and 
impressive, ibid. — causes of this advantage, 230. Characteriscics 
of the Gothic style, ibid. Early and Latter Gothic compared, 
231. — Tendency of the latter to ornament, 232. — Magnificence 
of the former, 233. — Perfection of a combination of them, 234. 
— Extract from bishop Warburton, on the spirit of the modern 
Gothic, ibid. Ancient castles, 237. Their multiplicity, 239. 
Importance of this point in illustrating the manners of our an- 
cestors, 237, 240. interior parts of an ancient castle; the wall, 
the ditch, and the bridge, 240. — The barbican ; barracks, a 
chapel, a monastery, &c. 241. — Principal tower, or keep; the 
artificial mount, 242. — The portal, 243. — The draw-bridge ; the 
vestibule ; the portcullis, 244. — A second portal ; the apartments, 
245. — Wells; sallyport, 247. — Subterraneous passages, 248. Pa- 
laces and Manor-houses, 250. Origin of the peculiar constructioa 
of these editic?;, 251. — Style of living in the middle ages, 253. — 
Offices, &c. 255. — Trap-doors, galleries, suite of rooms, chapels, 
arras hangings, 256. 

Ariosto, I. 62, IV. 88, 167, 192. 

Aristolelian Pbilosophyy L 24, 317, 323, II. 260. 

Ar is lode, I. 323. 

■Arthur, I, 59, 61, 169 note, 11. 253. 

Arundel, archbishop of Canterbury, If. 16. 

Arundel, earl of, III. 59, 121, 278, IV. n8. 

Ashmole, his testimony respecting Chaucer's residence at Donning 
ron, IV. 96. 

Ashton, a member of the university of Oxford, and teacher of the 
doctrines of WiclifFe, III. 325. 

Assembly of Fowls. See Parliament of Birds. 

Athens, plague of, 1. 407. 

Athletic Exercises of the ancient English. See the articles Bear and 
Bull baiting ; Cock-fighting ; Prize-fighting ; Tournaments ; and 
lFrestli?ig : See also Robbery. 

Augustine, St., I. 10, 287, 304, II. 276. 

Augustus, I. 118. 

Auray, battle of, III. 228. 

■Auretinn, 11. 388. 

Auricular Confession, as practised in the Roman Catholic religion ; its 
moral advantages, I. 76. — Its complete application to the affairs of 
life, 77. Period of the first confession, 83. Chaucer an advocate 
for this practice, HI. 345. 

Azincour, (Agincourt,) battle of, I. 184, 401, II. 456. 


BACON, Roger, I. 27, 309, 324, 418, 11. 44, 267. 

Baco7i, lord, II. 426. 

Balade; origin, and definition, of this species of poetry, III. 264, 
267, 268, 270, 271. 

BalatroneSy a Latin natne of tlie minstrels, I. 113, 

Bale; his memoirs of Strode, II. 4.10 14. Example of his inac- 
curacy, 3. 

Baliol,\l. 149. His pension, 334,337. 

^is//, John; a preacher, of the iD&ur;jents of 1381, III. 201,404. 

Bangor, bishop uf. See Gilbert, John. 

Barbarism of the middle ages, I- 44. 

Bards; a part of the hierarchy of the ancient Britons, 1,51,89. 
Distinction of, from the scalds, and the minstrels, 89. 

Bargaret. See Pa s tour e lie. 

'Barlaam, a preceptor of Petrarca, I. 425. 

Barnes ; a domestic occurrence m the foutteenth century misstated by 
this historian, I. 197 note. 

Battles: of Agiticourt ; Crfssy; Hastincs; Nnjara ; Neville's Cross ^ 
Fvitiers; Rosebecq: Sea-fight of the Spaniards. See those articles. 

Bavaria ; dukes, and duchess, of. See Albert ; William ; and Ma- 

BayetiX, tapestry of. See Tapestry. 

Bear and Bull bailing ', favourite diversions of the ancient English, 
I. 491. Causes which have contributed to the continuance of these 
amusements amongst us, 193. 

Beaucaire, tournament of, I. 20S. 

Bi-av.chawp, Thomas, earl of Warwick ; fable related of him, II. 353. 

Bcai'forts; sons of John of Gaunt : Henry, cardinal, IV. 103, 141, 
164. Jobn., earl of Somerset, chamberlain of England, 103, 105, 
140, 164. Thomas, duke of Exeter, 103, 140. 

Beaumont ; his verses upon his convivial meetings with Shakespear, 
Fletcher, and Jonson. II. 498. 

Bcavmont and Fletcher, 11, 77. Delineation of loyalty in their plays, 
III, 166 note. 

Bede, I. 11, 55, 260, 294. 

Benedictines, I. 130, 131, 304, 305. 

Bcnoit de St. More, a romance-writer of the twelfth century, I, 6r, 

2995 332> 343:. I^. §9? 261, 
Beriuick; John cf Gaunt refused entrance into, by the earl of North-. 

umbcrland's officer, III. 219. 
Bible ; Wiclitfe's translation of, III. 303. 
Biographia Britaraiica ; its falsifications respecting diiFerent grants to 

Chaucer, II. 513, 514,111. 143, 146. 
Birds, concert of, in the Court of Love, I. 3S7. 
Biscop, abbot of Weremouth, I. 221, 260. 
Black Prince. See Edward the Black Prince. 
Blanche, d.^Vig\izr oi Henry duke of Lancaster, II. 135. Enquiry 

respecting her age, note ibid. Passion of John of Gsunt for her, as 

described by Chaucer, 152. — Her character, 155. — her carriage, 


II. 155.^— her persoB, ibid. — her disposition, 157. Irresolution of 
her lover, 160. — Sonnet composed by him on the subject of his love, 
164. — He discloses his suit, 166. — his addresses are rejected, 16/d, 
This courtship the subject of the Parliament of Birds, 168 — The 
heroine and her lovers, 181. Her marriage with John of Gaunt, 
201. — Tournament on this occasion, 202. — Harmony of John of 
Gaunt in the nuptial state, 204, Death of Blanche, 355. — 
Poem of Chaucer upon this occasion, (See Book of thk 
Duchess,) 356. See also IV. 169. 
Blondel, minstrel of Richard i., I. no, III. 266. 
Boccaccio; his account of the plague at Florence in the fourteenth 
century, I. 404. His character, 420. Particulars of his life, 421. 
Catalogue of his principal works, 422. — Their character, 423.— 
Dates of some of them, liid. His friendship with Petrarca, 425. 
A reviver of Greek literature, il?i(f. Versifies the story of the 
loves of Troilus, 429. — Qijestion whether this composition served 
fur the foundation of Chaucer's poem, 419, 429, III. 17 note^ 
Chaucer introduced by Petrarca to an acquaintance with the works 
of Boccaccio, 11.472. See also J. 183,345, 413, II. 90, 108, 
176, 177, 285,1V. 167, 187, 191 : and the articles Decameronci 
Filostralo ; Taeide. 
Boeihius., I. 37. His De Consolativtie Philosophic translated by 
Chaucer, (See that article,) II. 81. — Situation of Boethius and of 
Chaucer in prison, compared, IV. 32. 
Boiardo, IV. 192. 
Boileau, 11. 211, 235. 
Bokyngham, bishop of Lincoln, III. 319. 

Book of the Duchess, written on occasion of the death of 
Blanche, duchess of Lancaster, II. 356. Plan of the poem ; tale 
of Ceyx and Alcyone, ibid. — Vision of Chaucer, 357. — Hunt of 
the emperor Octonyen, ibid. — Affliction of John of Gaunt, 35S, 
151. — history of his courtship, and marriage state, 152 to 167, 204, 
360. — Conclusion, 361. Defects of this poem; objectionable 
single lines, 362. — passages, 363, 364. Illustration which this 
poem affords to the history of Chaucer, 365. Certainly written 
on occasion of the death of the duchess of Lancaster, ibid. Con- 
nection of this piece with the Parliament of Birds, and with the 
poem entitled Chaucer's Dream, 366. — Proved from the history 
of the courtship of John of Gaunt, ibid. — from the particuldts re- 
lated in them of the history of Chaucer, 368 10370. See also 
III. 234, 237, 376, IV. 162. 
Extracts from, see also in I. 296, II. 103. 
Books; paucity of, in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, I. 27. 

Chaucer's illustration of the benefit derived from books, II. 174. 
Boswell, II. 6. 
Bourbon, duke of; his interfereuce in behalf of William of Wyke- 

ham, II. 438. 
Bourdeaux ; court of the Black Prince at, II. 305. 
Bozvet, Henry, archbishop of York, IV. 134. 


■^yahanty duke of; his pension, II. 334. 

Brae ton, Henry dg, II. 59. 

Bradivardine, Thomas, archbishop of Canterbury, I. 4S4. 

Brembar, sir Nicholas, ptiisne judge of the court of King's Bench, 

II. 66, 70, Ifl. 404, IV- 26. Appointed mayor of London by ihc 
ministry of Richard 11., III. 405, 408, 412. 

Bren'mghaniy Thomas, bishop of Exeter, II. 430. 

Breit placed in the hands of the English, in the war of 137S, 

III. 139. 

Brei!gni, peace of, II. 47, 214. Sentiments of the English respecting 
this treaty, 215. — Artifices employed to reconcile them to it, 2,16, 
Obstacles in its execution, 227. 

Bnghani, Nicholas, the founder of a monument to the memory of 
Chaucer, I. 3. 

Briia-nny escheated to the crown of France, HI. 185. — De Montfort 
recalled by his subjects, ibid. — he deserts the Enghsh alliance, 

Brition, law-treatise, II. 60, 

Bruce, David, king of Scots, I. 17, II. 149. Made prisoner by the 
English at the battle of Neville's Cross, II. 115, 116. — Sum fixed 
for his ransom, 336. Visits the court of Edward iii., 229, 

Bruges j ecclesiastical and political negotiations at, in 1374, II. 481, 
4S2, III. 36, 37. Political negotiations at, in 1377, III. 113. 

Brut d'Angleltrre, a poem by Wace, I. 60, 333. 

Buck, sir George ; Extract from, relative to prize-fighting, I. 187. 

Buckingham, earl of. See Thomas of IVoodstock. 

Bull-baiting, See Bear and Bull baiting. 

Burlesque Fesii^jals ; an essential part of the popular manners of the 
fourteenth century, I. 15;. Conjectured to be a remnant of the 
eld Roman Saturnalia, 153. Feast of Fools, /^/£/. — Its procession, 
ibid. — religious ceremonies, 154. Feast cf the Ass, 155. — Prin- 
cipal characters in, ibid. — religious ceremonies, 156. Feast of 
Innocents ; celebrated by children, ibid. — thtir proceedings, as 
described in an old order of council, 157. Lord (or Abbot) of 
Misrule, 158. — Business of this officer, 1 ^^. — Whimsical account 
cf the election of a popular officer of this sort, 161. — and of his 
disorderly process on, 162. Importance of a knowledge of these 
practices, to undersrand the character of the age, 163. 

BurUy, Br. Walter, the Perspicuous Schoolman, II. 91, 92, III, 284, 
2S9 ncie. 

Burky, sir John, III, 289 note. 

Burley, sir Richard, III. 290 note. 

Biirley, sir Simon, confidential minister of Richard 11,, III. 283, 2SS, 
290 note, IV. 27, 135. 

B-Miied C.a7idlenms, the, II. 149. 

Bmy, Richard de., bishop of Durham, I. 361, II. 91. 

Bu.xbalf sir Allan, III. 153. 


CMSAR, I. 169 note, 400. 

Calais, siege of, II, 116, 217, 460. 

Ca/vhi, III. 52. 

Cambridge; the place of the latter part of Chaucer's education, 

I. 21,2 98. — His situation there, 315. Rise of this university, 300, 

301. One of the earliest English Mysteries performed here, 136. 

See also Uni'versities of England. 
Cambridge, earl of. See Edmund of Langley , 
Camden ; his testimony respecting Chaucer's residence at Donnington, 

IV. 94. 
Canon Law ; state of, in the time of Chaucer, II. 54. 
Canterbury Tales ; period of their composition, IV. 74. 

Models after which they were formed, 76. — II Decamerone, 77 

De Confessione Amantis, 11. 36, IV. 78. Breach between Chaucer 

and Gower ; this incident the occasion of the Canterbury Tales, 

IV. 79, 82. Compared with the Orlando Furioso, 87. Plan ot 

the performance j compared with that of the Decamerone, 89. 

Its character, 185 to 189. 

Mr. Tyrw hit's edition of, I. 390. 

Extracts from, also in III. 270, IV. 182. 

See also I. 340, 478, II. 36, 500, III. 209, 239(368,373,374, 

IV. 113 & note, 173, 180, 184, 190, 200 ; and particular articles. 
Captal of Buche, takes the command in Aquitaine, II. 445. Is mads 

prisoner, 448. His catastrophe, /^;V. 
Carpenteras, bishop of, III. 37V 
Carr, the favourite of James i., ^I. 287. 
Castilie: See Peter, king of Castille ; and Henry of Tramtamare. 

John ©f Gaunt marries the heiress of Castille, and asserts his title 

to the crown, II. 398, 400. — Surrenders his personal claims to the 

sovereignty, IV. 62. 
Castles ; See Architecture. Multitude of castles built in England 

during the reign of Stephen,!. 218, 240. 
Cathedrals. See Architecture {Religious Architecture). 
Catherine of Lancaster, daughter of John of Gaunt ; married to the 

prince of Asturias, IV. 60. 
Cato ; idea of his constant presence recommended as a check upon 

vicious actions, I, 76. 
Caxton, William, the printer, placed the original inscription over 

Chaucer's grave, I. 2. See also I. 497j 501. 
Cervantes, IV. 195. 
Ceyx and Alcyone, tale of, introduced in the Book of th& Duchess, 

II. 356. 
Chalons, count of ; tournament given by him to Edward i., I. 2o8» 
Cbandos, lord, II. 305, 316, 319, 320. Opposes the imposition of 

hearth-money in Aquitaine, 344. Campaign of 1369 in the south 

of France, 354. His death, 355. 
Cbandos, sir John, II. 171, III. 117. 
Chant-royal j origin, and definition, of this species ©f poetry, III. 264, 


VOL. lY. Y 


Chapman! s Translation of Homer, I. 501. 

Charlemagne, I. 169 note, ibi, 11. 253. Turpin's history of, I. j8. 
Charles iv., emperor, I. 147. 
Charles v., emperor, I. 318, II. 211. 

Charles v., king of France, I. 147, II; 213. Assists Henry of 
Transtaraare, in his views upon the crown of Spain, 11. 311. 
Kenews the war with England in 1369, 341. — Summons the 
Black. Prince to answer the complaints of his vassals, 347. — War : 
military operations of Charles, 349. — ^English reinforcement 
arrives at Calais, 350. — Cautious system of the French king, 351. 
— Fable of the monkish historian, 352. — Campaign in the south, 
3 54. — Aquitaine escheated by the chamber of the peers of France, 
381. — insidious policy of Charles, 383. — Aquitaine invaded by 
two French armies, 384. — Capture of Limoges, ibid. — the Black 
Prince marches against that city and takes it by storm, 385. — 
English invade France to the north, 389. — Du Guesclin marches 
against them, 392.— his success, 393. — AtFair of Montpaon, 396.— « 
Suspension of the war, 397. — Campaign of 1372,44;. — sea-fight 
of the Spaniards ; its disastrous consequences to the English, 446, 
447. — Du Guesclin constable of France, (See his article,) 447. — 
Campaign of 1373 ; grand march of the English through France, 
452. — Negotiations, 454. — Truce between England and France, 
455. — Reflections, 456. Political negotiations at Bruges in 1375, 
III. 37. — In 1377, 112.— proposal for the marriage of the prince 
of VVales with a French princess, 114. The whole negotiation 
fails: war renewed, 115, 116, 137. — The coasts of England 
ravaged, 137, 13S. — Cherburgh and Brest placed in the hands of 
the English, 139. — First campaign, 141. — Escheat of the duchy 
of Britanny, 185. Deathof Charles v., 186. — His literary cha- 
racter, 187. Poetry of his reign, 263. 
Charles vi., king of France ; accident which befel him at a mas- 
querade, I. 146. State of France during his minority, HI. 378- 
Insurrection among his subjects, 379. Warlike projects of the 
English government, 380. State of Flanders; Charles marches 
against the Flemings, 385, 38S. — battle of Rosebecq, 390. In- 
surrections ; punishment of the Parisians, ibid. Progress of the 
English in Flanders, 392. Richard 11. challenges the king of 
France, 393. Failure of the English expedition; truce, 396,397. 
Contract cf marriage between the king of England and a daughter 
of Charles ; truce for thirty years, IV. 102 note, 117. 
Charles, king of Navarre, II. 306. 316. 
Charles of Avjou, king of Sicily, ll. 238. 
Charles deBlois, II. 114. 
Charles Mariel, II. 307. 

Chaucer : Enquiry respecting the time of his birth and decease, 
1. I. — Inscriptions on his tomb, 2, — and testimony of different 
authors, on the subject, 4, 5. London the place of his nativity, 
5.— ^extract to this purpose from one of his works, 6. — Was pro- 
bably a freeman of the city, 7.— His father conjectured to have 


been a vintner of London, I. 19. Idea of the formation of 
Chaucer's character: as influenced ; 1, By the state of learning in 
his time, (See the article Lilerature in England,) 21. — earlier part 
of his education received in the schools of London, 35. — course of 
studies in these, 36. 11, By his school-boy amusements ; ro- 
mance writers read by him, (See Romance, Feudal System, Cbivalry, 

and references,) 39, 63. iii, By his rehgious education, (See 

Church of England, and Roman Catholic Religion,') 64.— period of 
his first confession, 84. — effect of this ceremony upon his mind, 85. 
IV, By the diversions of the period, (See the different re- 
ferences under the head Diversions oi the English in the fourteenth 
century,) 88. — particularly the popular amusements, 164. — and 

the general manners, 214. V, By the state of the fine arts in 

his time, (See Fme Arts, and the references,) 215. — of religious 
architecture, 228. — period (of the fine arts) of Chaucer, 283. — - 

Chaucer a lover of music, 295. Conclusion from the whole, 

296. Chaucer removed from London to' the university of Cam- 
bridge, 298. — State of the universities of this period, 299, 313. — 
His situation at Cambridge, 315. State of the early years of 
Chaucer recapitulated, 325. Early productions of Chaucer; 
Court of Love, (See that article : And for the account of his different 
works hereafter mentioned. See their respective articles,) 328, 
369. — They are written in English, 332. — discredit of the English 
language at this time, 30, 332, 476. — advantages arising to him. 
from writing in his native tongue, 334. Question of priority be- 
tween Chaucer and Gower, 337. — Examination of some passages 
jn their poems, on this point, tbid., 339. — Chaucer entitled to the 
precedency, 339. — proved from the dates of Gower's works, 340. 
Poets on the continent previous to Chaucer, 342. — Petrarca 
crowned in the Capitol, 366. — impression produced by this event 
upon the mind of Chaucer, 368. Plague of London in the year 
1349, 402. — Its effect upon the mind of Chaucer, 410. — His 
position during its continuance, 411. — Institution of the order of 
the Garter, 412, Chaucer studied at both universities, 414. — 
Opposite statements on this point, ibid. — Arguments in support of 
this assertion ; from the composition of the Troilus and Creseide, 
416. — from the frequency of similar removals in his time, 417. 
Eoke of Troilus and Creseide, 418, 440. — Supposition of sir 
Francis Kynaston, respecting the author's station in life, 495. 

Memoirs of Strode and Gower, confidential friends of Chaucer, 
II. 1. —Friendship of Chaucer and Gower, 19. — Erroneous state- 
ments on this subject, ibid. — have been continued by modern writers, 
2 1. — Breach betv.'een Chaucer and Gower, 31, IV. 79, &c. — de- 
gree of blame impiitable to either party uncertain, II. 34. — long 
duration of their friendship honourable to both, 35. — Chaucer's 
emulation of Gower, 36, IV. 78. — Conclusion, II. 38. Question 
whether Chaucer studied at Paris, and in the Inner Temple, con- 
sidered, 40. — tiis residence in France affirmed by Leland, ibid. — 
Denied by a modern critic, 41. — Proved ; from the resort of 


Englishmen to the university of Paris in the time of Chaucer, II. 
43. — from his extensive acquaintance with French literature, 44.— 
Deficiencies in Leland's account of Chaucer, 45. — not decisive on 
this point, ibid. — -Pericd of Chaucer's studies in France, 46- — his 
reception in that country, 48, 49. Chaucer's studies in the inns 
of court discussed, 50. — Testimony of Lelandon this subject, ibid. 
• — of Mr. Speght, 51. — The point very doubtful, idid. — History 
of law in the fourteenth century, 52, — Chaucer considered as a 
lawyer, 69.^-quits the profesbion, 70. Chaucer's literary pro- 
ductions between the years 1350 and 1358, 71. — ^His Palamon 
and Arcite, (See that article,) 72.— Said to have translated Dante, 
So. — improbability of this supposition, ibid, — Translatien of 
Boethius De Consolations Philosophic, 81. — its defects, ibid. — in- 
stances of, 82. — its beauties, 83. — example, 84. — Chaucer values 
hi.Tiself upon it, 85. Chaucer enters into the service of Ed- 
ward III., 87. — Causes of his promotion, 88. — respect paid to 
genius and literature in the early ages of Europe, ibid. — literary 
character of Edward iii., 91, 109, 171. — He places Chaucer near 
the person of his minor son, 94. — similar situation of Gower, 96.— 
'Patent of 1374 considered, 97. — Chaucer resides at Woodstock, 
99. — early date of his residence there, 100. — situation of his 
house, 10 1. — description of it ; from his poem of his Dream, 102. 
— from the Book of the Duchess, 103. — Condition of Chaucer at 
this time, 104. — inference as to his circumstances and station, 
105. — Character of the English court, 109. — of Edward ill., 
no. — of Philippa, his queen, iii. — State of the royal family, 
127. — Chaucer's delineation of the manners of John of Gaunt, 
150.— of the character and person of the princess Blanche, 155. 
1 — Chaucer the poetical preceptor of John of Gaunt, 164, Chau- 
cer's poem of the Parliament of Birds, 168. — Impressions under 
which he had written his former works, 169. — this poem, 170. — 
State of the court at this time, 171. Chaucer's poem of his 
Dream, 183. — This work illustrative of the history of the poet; 
of his amours, 191. — his passion conceived in 1359, 193. — the 
object of it introduced as a personage in the story, 195. Chau- 
cer's mistress, her quality and name, 197,374. Grand invasion 
of France in 1359 ; Chaucer appears in the invading army, I. 208, 
209. — Proof of this from his testimony in a cause in the court 
military, 209. — His character and motives in this expedition, 211. 
—impression produced by it upon his mind, 218. — He withdraws 
from the military profession, 219. — his pacific disposition, 220. 
Romance of the Rose, a poem, translated by Chaucer, 230,— 
Period of this translation, 23 i. — His condition at this time, ibid. — 
Satire upon the mendicants, in this work, 259.— rise and contro- 
versies of those orders, 262. — application of this subject to the 
history of Chaucer, 2S2. — Length of Chaucer's translation, 299. 
— KDbject of the translator, zV'/V/. Chaucer's first pension, 328.— 
Its value, 329. — illustrations, 331. — Conclusion, 339. Chaucer's 
poem entitled the Book of the Duchess, 356. — Illustration which 

I N D E 5:. 

this poem affords to the history of Chaucer, II. 365, 36S, 370. — his 
long courtship, 371. — Chaucer not yet married, 373.— -reasons of 
the lady for deferring his suit, 375.— his marriage, 376. — Coin- 
cidence of circumstances in the hvesof Chaucer and Spenser, 377. 
— Consideration in which Chaucer was now held, illustrated, 378. 
Chaucer sent upon a special mission, 394, 429. Political admini- 
stration of John of Gaunt, (See also fully his article,) 405. 
Chaucer appointed ambassador to Genoa, 457. — Importance of 
this republic during the reign of the Plantagenets, ibid. — its con- 
nection with England, 459. — Objects of Chaucer's embassy, 460. 
— his colleagues, 461. His tour to the north of Italy, 463. — - 
proved from a passage in the Clerk of Oxenfordes Tale, ibid., 
465. — Motives of Chaucer in this excursion, 466. — Inter- 
view with Petrarca, 467'. — feelings of Chaucer on this occasion, 
ibid. — feelings of Petrarca, 468. — he reads to Chaucer his tale of" 
Patient Grisildis, 469. — tone of their conversation, 470. —Chaucer 
requests a copy of the tale, 471. — describes himself under the 
person of the Clerk of Oxenford, ibid. — is introduced by Petrarcd 
to an acquaintance with the works of Boccaccio, 472. — The visit 
of Chaucer not mentioned by Petrarca or his biographers, 474. — . 
silence of Petrarca accounted for, ibid- — of his Italian biographer;, 
476. — language of De Sade on the subject, 477. — conclusion, 478. 
Chaucer receives a grant of a pitcher of wine per diem, 485. — ob- 
servations, 48 6. — Use of wine in the fourteenth century, ibid.-' 
measures of wine at this time in use; dimensions of the pitcher, 
490, 491.— Value of Chaucer's grant, 491. — Imputed connection, 
between wine and poetry, 493. — Probable amount of Chaucer's 
income, 494.-— articles of which it was composed, 495. — his paternal 
inheritance, 496. — conclusion, ibid. His introduction into public 
life, 501. — His successive promotions, 502. Chaucer appointed 
comptroller of the customs, 503. — importance of this situation, 
ibid. — salary annexed to it, 504. — nature of its business, 505. — 
He owes this appointment to John of Gaunt, 506. — motives of the 
donation, 507. Chaucer's domestic, and official, situation, 510, 
511. Supposed grant of the year 1371, 512 — Bioeraphia Briian- 
nica, its forgeries on this subject, 513,5 14. — and source from which 
these sprung, 515. Chaucer designated by the term Falettits 
Hospiiii by Mr. Speght, 516. 

Outline of Chaucer's poem of the House of Fame, III. i. 

Chaucer's principles of philosophy, 8. — He writes this poem un- 
der some depression of mind, 29. — Period at which the House cf 
Fame was produced, 30. — extract from the poem, on this subject, 
ibid. Intmiacy of Wicliffe and Chaucer, 55. Chaucer obtains the 
■wardship of Edmund Stapelgate, 58. — Nature, and import- 
ance, of this grant, ibid. Grant to Chaucer of contraband wool 
forfeited, 103. Proposal for the marriage of the prince of 
Wales ; Chaucer employed in this negotiation, 114, 116, — Rank 
and importance of his fellow-commissioners, 117. — Station oc- 
cupied by him on this occasion, 118. Is reappointed comptrol- 
ler of the customs, 142. — His pensions, 143. — falsifications of 


the Biographia Britannica, III. 143. Supposed grant of pro- 
tection to Chaucer, 145. — Cause of mistake on this subject in- 
vestigated, 147. Poem of Chaucer entitled the Complaint of the 
Black Knight, 149. State of society in Europe at this time: In- 
surrection of the ccmmcn people: Views which these circumstances 
produced in the mind of Chaucer, 191, 197, 208. — Way in which 
they modified his genius and fortune, a 10. Marriage of Richard 
II. to Anne of Bohemia : Chaucer patronised by the new queen, 
and produces at her suggestion theLegende of Gode Women, (See 
that article,) 229, 232, 233. Poem of the Floure and the Lefe, 
349. Origin of the shorter and more airy classes of poetry : ex- 
ample of the Virelay, from Chaucer's works, 265, 272. — William 
de Machaut, 273. Chaucer appointed comotroiier of the small 
customs, 275. Supposititious writings of Chaucer in favour of the 
doctrines of Wicliffe, 343. — Jack Upland ; The PlowmansTale; 
The Pilgrimes Tale, 344. Visions of Pierce Plowman, 345. 
— passage in this work imitated by Chaucer, 359. Contention re- 
specting the mayoralty of London ; Chaucer involved in this af- 
fair, 402, 409. — His motives ; his attachment to John of Gaunt, 
409. — his patriotic sentiments, 410. — Result of this business; 
estimate of the cause in which Chaucer was engaged, 412, 413. 
— Success of the- court : Chaucer i^ies, 416. 

Chaucer in the Netherlands, IV. i. — ^Assists his fellows in exile, 
4, — Treachery of his friends at home, 4. — Is accompanied by his 
wife, 5. — His children, 6, 158. — His embarrassments, 9. — His re- 
tired and destitute situation, 12. Returns to England, 14. Is 
imprisoned in the Tower, 15. Examined as a witness in the 
court military, 16. Stripped of his public offices ; by Thomas of 
Woodstock; suspension of the royal authority, 17. Chronology of 
Chaucer's exile and imprisonment, 19. Convulsive state of Eng- 
land in the loth and nth years of Richard li., 24. — Situation of 
Chaucer in this period, 27. — he sells his pensions, 30. — his em- 
ployments in prison, ibid. Testament of Love, 32. — Anne of 

Bohemia obtains his pardon, 43. — Chaucer now first adopts the 
mystical worship of the Marguerite or daisy, 44. Restoration of 
Richard 11. ; Chaucer set at liberty, ibid., 47. Impeaches his for- 
mer associates, 47. — Nature of his information, 48. — His con- 
duct censured, 50. — Its motives ; resentment, 51. — timidity ; de- 
gree of censure due to this defect, 52. — Duration of Chaucer's 
adversity, 54. — Chaucer the sole historian of his own weakness, 
55. Chaucer appointed clerk of the works, 66, — Employed in 
repairing St. George's chapel at Windsor, ibid. — Resigns, 67. 
Retires to Woodstock, 68. — Visits his youngest son at Oxford, 70. 
• — Conclusions of the Astrolabie, ibid. — Legende of Gode Women, 
ibid. — His sentiments at this period, 71. Canterbury Tales, 74. 
— Breach between Chaucer and Gower,(II. 31,) IV. 79. — Gower 
visits Chaucer in prison, 81. — Chaucer suspects him of duphcity, 
82. — is instigated by resentment to undertake the Canterbury 
Tales, ibid. — Anecdote of Shakespear, 84. Chaucer again ob- 


tains a pension, IV. 91. Removes to Donnington Castle, Berks: 
evidences that he resided here ; Leland, 93. — Camden, 94,— 
Speght, Evelyn, 95. — Ashmole, 96. — Life in Urry, Grose, 97. — 
Objections; from records concerning the former proprietor, 98.— 
and from Chaucer's pecuniary circumstances, 99. — Chaucer did not 
plant the oaks at Donnington, 100. — Inference, loi- Death of 
Constance, second duchess of Lancaster; John of Gaunt marries 
the sister of Chaucer's wife, 103, 104. — Favours bestowed by him 
upon the family of Chaucer, 105 to 108. Chaucer receives a pa- 
tent of protection from the crown, 109. Is again engaged ia 
public affairs, iir. Obtains a grant of wine, 113. Richard ir. 
deposed ; accession of Henry iv. : behaviour of Chaucer on this 
event, 138. — Contrasted with that of Gower, 139. Chaucer and 
his family favoured by the new sovereign, 141. Stanzas entitled 
Chaucer to his Emptie Purse, 142. Chaucer removes to London, 
147. — Rents a house near Westminster Abbey, 148. His pensions 
renewed, ibid. A further pension conferred upon him, 149, 
Death of Chaucer, 154. — Verses supposed to have been written by 
him on his death-bed, (Gode Counsaile of Chaucer,) 156. — Died 
a widower, 162. His interment, 163. 

Review of his history, IV. iG c^.-— Of bis character : his placid and 
generous disposition, 175. His love of cheerful scenery, 176.-^ 
Further proofs of the excellence of his disposition, 178. His moral 
and social habits, II. 497. — His convivial temper, 498, IV. iSo. 
His propensity to expence and to pleasurable indulgences, II. 499, 
500, IV. 180. His love of study, II. 173, 183, 472, III. 28, IV. 
181. His tendency toward enthusiasm, IV. 182. His sensibilitv 
to criticism, III. 3. His professed estimation of fame, 23. An 
advocate for the doctrines of transubstantiation and auricular con- 
fession, 316,345. Habitually a courtier, II. 501, IV. 168. His 
ministerial character, II. 509, IV. 170. His patriotism, III. 410, 
IV. 171. His character of himself, III. 28. His person, IV. 182. 
His literary character : hiseulogium, I. 341. His smaller pieces, 
IV. 184. — Troilus and Creseide, iiic/. Canterbury Tales, 185. 
His merits in the delineation of manners, I. 327, 377, III. 209, zu 
IV. 186. — In passages of humour, I 380, IV. 187. His descrip- 
tive powers, I. 377, 378, III. iSi, 183, 184. Deficient in deco- 
rum, I, 384, 386,481, IV. 186. Chaucei compared with Shake- 
spear, I. 501, 512.— With Spenser, 377* 37^, II. 377. HI. 34, 
180. — WithLangland, III. .370. His character of himself, IV, 
41, Chaucer the poet of peace, II. 220. His reputation in his 
own time and since, 1. 497, 11.92,94, 378. Chaucer not obsolete 
in his language, I. 394. — Not inharmonious inhis versification, 395, 
III. 365, 366. — causes of its apparent irregularity, explained, I. 
397. — how to be remedied in future editions, 398. — 'The introducer 
of the stanza of seven lines into English poetry, 374. Principal 
schools of modern poetry : the romantic ; the burlesque ; the na- 
tural ; and the allegorical, IV. 189. Rank to which Chaucer, as 
a poet, belongs, considered, 196. — Must be tried by the absolute 


tneritsofhis works, IV. 196.— andbythecircumstancesunderwhich 
they were produced, 197. — interest which the reader of taste will 
feel in these circumstances, 198. — their value in the history of the 
human mind, 199. — These observations applied to Chaucer, 2oo» 
Editions of Chaucer, I. 390. — Quoted in this work, 298 note. 

Chaucer to his Emptie Purse ; stanzas attributed to Chaucer, 
IV. 142. Their character, 144. Not a genuine production of 
Chaucer, 145. Contradicted by his real history, 146. 
Extract from, IV. 144. 

Chaucer's Dream ; poem of. See Dream. 

Chaucer, Thomas, elder son of the poet, II, 198 note, 511, IV. 6, 
107,164. His youthful character, IV. 7. Elected speaker ef the 
house of commons, 141. Pijoved to have been the son of the 
poet, 158, 

Chancer, Lewis, younger son of the poet, II. 11, IV. 6, 162. HiS" 
youthful character, IV. 8, 9. Conclusions of the Astrolabie writ- 
ten for his instruction by his father, 69, 70. 

Cheapside; state of, in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, I. 14. 
Grand tournament here in the year 1374, III. 77. 

Cheerfulness ; its mutual connection with a sense of religion, I. 87. 
Can be cultivated only in a state of civilisation, 91. 

Cherburgh placed in the hands of the English in the war of 1378, 
IIL 139. 

Chester ; remarkable ancient privilege at the fair held here, 1. 108. 

Chester Mysteries, I. 135. Papal indulgence granted to the attenders 
at these exhibitions, 137. 

Che'vy Chace, ballad of, I. 186. 

Chivalry; the offspring; of the feudal system, I. 40, 47, II. 56. Time' 
of its rise, I. 40. Nature of this institution, 47. Hercules and 
Theseus knights-errant of antiquity, 48. Principles of chivalry, 

199. Education of a knight, 200, II- 131- Relative character of 
chivalry in different stages of society, I. 200, 209. Origin of the 
duel, of the just, and of the tournament, 201, Its effects upon 
the characters of women of rank, II. 1 1 1. — Some examples of this, 
113. Early discipline of persons of rank in the fourteenth cen- 
tury, 131.- — Pages, ibid. — Esquires, 137. — (See those articles. — ) 
Demeanour of the damsels, or young ladies of family, 140. — Ex- 
ercises of the esquires, ibid. — emulation, 1421 — Knighthood, ibid., 

200. ■ Manners and temper of the knights of chivalry, III. 85. — 
Their attachment to war, 86, 87. Passion of love, considered on 
the principles of chivalry, 163. — Description of loyalty, 1.65. 
Worship of Venus as the goddess of Love, superseded among the 
poets of chi^'alry, by that of Alcestis, 255, 256. 

Christianity, annihilated in England by the Saxons, I. to. Its effects 
upon the character of this people, when restored by St. Augustine, 
55. — Upon the romance poetry, 53. 

Church of England; establishment and practices of, in the fourteenth 
century, (See Rvman Catholic Religion,) I. 64. 

Cbutcb-music ; caus^ of its assiduous cultivation in the early ages. 


I. 126, 287. Cultivated in a later period by the society of pa- 
rish-clerks, 140. Introduction of the organ into churches, 294. 
See also Music. 
Cicero, I. 37, II. 172. 
Ci^abui\ I. 27O. 

Civil law, revival of, in Europe, II. :;2. 
Clarence, duke of. See Lionel of Aniiuerp. 
Classics ; description of those studied in the fourteenth century, I. 36, 

Claude Lorraine, IV. 190. 
Claudian, III. 5. 18. 

Clergy; their ascendancy and policy in the middle ages, I. 123. Origin 
of their antipathy to theatrical performers, 125. Forbidden from 
attending at secular plays, 129. — Necessity of this prohibition, 130. 
Policy of the clergy of the middle ages in the cultivation of archi- 
tecture, 219,220. Their proficiency in the fine arts in the early 
ages, 272. Effect of the revival of learning, upon the state of the 
clergy, II. 261. Rise of the mendicant orders, (See Friars,') 
262. See also Ecclesiastical Historj ', and Roman Catholic Re- 
Clerk of the luorks ; Chaucer appointed to this situation, IV. 66. — ■ 

Resigns, 67, 
Clerk of Oxenfordes Tale, (Story of Patient Grisildis;') 
learnt by Chaucer from Petrarca, II. 463. — Petrarca reads his 
tale to Chaucer, 469. — Chaucer requests a copy of it, 471. — de- 
scribes himself under the person of the Clerk of Oxenford, ibid. 
See also IV. 185. 
Clifford, sir Lewis, III. 300. 
Cobbam, John lord, III, 84, 114. 

Cock AND THE Fox, Tale of. See Nonnes Preestes Tale. 
Cock-figbiing and Tiorowing at cocks; diversions of the fourteenth 

century, I. 193. 
Cc/ii', chief justice, II. 59. 

Colet, Dr , founder of St. Paul's school, I. 157. 
Colleges, when first founded in England, I. 313. 
Commedia, of Dante, II. 230. 

Commons; rise of, in the thirteenth century, and of the system of re- 
presentation, I. tg, 334, II. 57. III. 192, 195, 415. 
Complaint of the Black Knight; written on occaion of 
the unpopularity and misfortunes of John of Gaunt, III. 149 to 
157. Proved to be connected wirh the history of that prmce, 158. 
— From the description of the scene, ibid. — and of the person of 
the hero, ibid., 1^9- Not related to h;s courtship of the princess 
Blanche, J59. — Proved from the diirarioa of the alleged courtship, 
]6o. — from the slanders the hero is said to have laboured uader, 
16 1. Literal subject of the poem, ibul. Taste for allegorical 
writing, 162. Passion of love, and sentimtnt of loyaity, com- 
pared, 163.— Love considered on the principles of chivalry, iwV/. — 
Pescription of loyalty, 165. Youth and sacred character of 


Richard ir., III. i68, 169.— His beautiful person and prepossessing 
manners, 170. — Ardent and unalterable attachment of the Black. 
Knight, 171. — expressed in his soliloquy, ibid, to 174. — Unkind- 
ness and severity of his mistrebs, 174. — originating in the unme- 
rited calumnies which had been invented against him, 176. — the 
style in which these are spoken of too grave for a love-tale, 177. 
— Unfortunate destiny of true lovers, and prosperous success of 
the disloyal, 178. Critical defects of this poem, i8o. Important 
purpose it was designed to answer, 181. Illustration from the 
House of Fame, 182. Specimen of Chaucer's descriptive powers, ■ 
ibid., 183. This poem compared with the Testament of Love, IV. 
40. See also II. 102. 
Comptroller of the cu5to?ns ; Chaucer appointed to this office, II. 503. 
Importance of the situation at that time, ibid — Salary annexed to 
it, 504 — Nature of its business, 505. Chaucer owes th;s ap- 
pointment to John of Gaunt, 506. — Motives of the donation, 507. 
Chaucer re-appointed on the accession of Richard 11., Ill- 142. 
— Deprived of this office, IV. 17. 
ComhtroUer of the small customs \ Chaucer appointed to this office, 

III. 275. — Deprived of it, IV. 17. 
Conclusions of the Astrolabie, II. 8, IV. 6, 69. Written 

by Chaucer for the instruction of his younger son, IV. 70. 
Confessio Amantis. See De Confessione Amantis. 
Confession, See Auricular Confession. 

Confirm at I on ; rite of, in the Roman Catholic church, J. 87. 
Conradin, heir to the crown of Sicily, II. 238. 
Consolation of Philosophy. See De Comolatione Philo- 
Constance, heiress to the crown of Castille, and second wife of John 

of Gaunt, II. 398 to 400, IV. 59. Dies, IV. 103. 
Constaniine, I, 2 58. 

Convents. See Monastic Establishments. 
Con'uocation of St. Frideswide, held by archbishop Courteney against 

WiclifFe, III. 326. 
Coronation of Richard 11., III. 127. 
Coventry Mysteries, I. 135. 

Coi'etousness ; personification of, from the Visions of Pierce Plow- 
man, III. 355. 
Council of Constance ; exhibition of a Mystery before the members 
of, I. 137. Council at the Preaching Friars, summoned by arch- 
bishop Courteney against WiclifFe, III. 320. 
Court of Love ; Chaucer's first considerable poem, T. 328, 369. 
Its original, and its present, length, 32S. Its authenticity un- 
questionable, ibid. Written by Chaucer at the age of eighteen, 
329, 330. Not his first poetical composition, 330. Plan of the 
poem, 369. Not a translation, /Zi/i^. Qu^estion whether Chaucer's 
heroine a real or fictitious personage, 370. — Extracts from the 
poem in favour of the former supposition, 3,71. — Statement from 
his other works confirming the latter, 372. — The point doubtful, 


I. 372. Measure of the poem, 373. — Versification, ibid. — the stanza, 
574. Srructure and flow of language, 375. Fable, 376. Passages 
of a descriptive sort, 377- — General estimate of Chaucer's talents 
in this p.jint, ibid. Passages of passinn, 378. Passages of 
humour, 380. — Statutes of love, ibid. — Attendants at the court of 
L;!ve, 381. Delicacy of sentiment, 384. — Period of a young; 
roan's first appearance at the court of Love, 385. — Indecency of 
one of the statutes of love, 386. Peroration, ibid. Concert of 
birds, 387. Copy of the Court of Love incomplete, 38B. — 
Visible hiatuses, ibid. — examination of these, 389. Battle of 
Cressy, 399, See also 1. 338, 477, 478, IIL 234, 248, 254, 

Courteney, bishop of London ; a leader of the faction in the Good 
Parliament, III. 67, 82. Urges the prosecution of WiclifFe, 106. 
Appointed a member of the council of regency, on the accession of 
Richard 11., 135. His further measures against Wicliffe, 298. 
Succeeds to the primacy, on the death of archbishop Sudbury, 
319. Summons an extraordinary council upon Wicliffe, 320. — 
Earthquake, 321. Parliamentary bill against heresy ; rejected by 
the commons, 322, 323. Courteney undertakes to purge the 
university, 323. — Is opposed by the chancellor; but forces him to 
submit, 324. — Demands a recantation from the heretical pro- 
fessors, ibid. — Obtains letters patent against heresy to be issued j 
in consequence of which, Wicliffe is expelled the university, 325. 
—Convocation of St. Frideswide, 326. — Obscurity respecting the 
recantations, /^/ci'. See also III. 110,154,199. 

Courts of Love. See Parliaments of Love. 

Co"^uley, I. 373, 392. 

CrebiUon, II. 37. 

Cressy, battle of, I, 1S4, 399, 11. 317, 456, Its effects upon the 
English nation, II. 121. 

Criticism: its unfavourable effects upon genius, I. 394. Points of at- 
tention in judging of ancient poetry, 163. Two ways in which a 
poem may be judged, 475, (see also IV. 196 to 200.) Law of 
poetical justice examined,!. 4S8. Chaucer's sensibility tocriticism^ 
III. 3. Reviewers, 4. 

Croesus, king of Lydia; his fate, as related by Chaucer, III. 3. 

Croucbback; explanation of this name, IV. 64. 

Crusade t>i.cittdi by pope Urban vi. against his rival, Clement vii,, 
III. 381. Expedition of Spencer, bishop of Norwich, under this 
sanction, 39I, 396. 

Crusades : their impolicy, I. 68. Enthusiasm and ecstasy of the 
crusaders, on the Holy Land, 70. Arts used to excite the people 
to engage in these expeditions, 267. Their beneficial effects to 
the maritime states of Italy, II. 458. 

CucKOw AND THE NIGHTINGALE; Extract from, IV. 177. 

Cumberland, Richard, II. 9.9. 

t N 1> E X. 

DAIS, a part of the ancient palaces and manor-houses, I. 254, 

Daisy, (or Marguerite,) worship of, among the poets of the folir- 
teenth century, III. 245, lis origin, 246. — Froissart, il>id. — his 
fable of the daisy, 247. — not the founder of the school, 248. 
Mythology of Chiuctr, ibid. Worship of the daisy by the knights 
and ladies in the poem of the Floureand the Lefe, 251. Inventor 
of the mythology of the daisy ; perhaps William de Machaut, 
254, 274. Chaucer's homage to the daisy in the Legende of 
Gode Women, 257. — His etymology of daisy; explained, ^'e of day, 
zt^S, Botany of the daisy, Hid. Chaucer's panegyric of the 
daisy, 260. Worship of the Marguerite or daisy, when first 
adopted by Chaucer, IV, 44. See also IV. 191. 

Dancivg ; a part of the church-service in the early ages, I. 288. 

Danes ; their character, I. 55. 

Dangle, sir Guichard, earl of Huntingdon, III, 116, 117, 119, 2S3, 
291, IV. 150. 

Dante, I. 27, 284, 345, 356, 420, II. 230, III. 5,33,4^. His 
character, I. 357, 359. Said to have been translated by Chaucer, 

II. So. 

Dares Phrygius, I. 26, 5i, 434, 438, III. 17. 

Dark and Barbarous Ages ; these terms inapplicable to the times when 

Chaucer was born, I. 21. 
D'Arteville, James, and Philip ; their usurpations, III. 386 to 390. 
Dwvie, Adam, I. 100. 
Death; the preparation for, one of the foremost injunctions of the 

Roman Catholic religion. I. 80. — productive of pusillanimity of 

character, 82, IV. 3 5. — ^Dictates of reason, on this head, I. 81. 
De Bello Trojano, a poem of Joseph of Exeter, I. 439. 
D^fiS^^froK^', of B-Ccaccio ; occasion of its composition, J. 413, Its 

character, 423 . — Date, 424. Story of Patient Grisildis ; translated 

into Latin by Petrarca, II. 464. Its plan compared with that 

of the Canterbury Tales, IV. 89. See also I. 435, III. 42, IV, 

77, 190. 
De Causa Dei, a treatise of Thomas Bradwardine in the fourteenth 

century, I. 4S4. 
De Omfessione Amantis ; date of its publication, I. 340. A model of 

the Canterbury Tales, II. 36, IV. 78. See also 1. 338, 339, II. 14, 

17, 19, 32, IV. 82. 

Extracts from, I. 332, IV. 8i. 
De Consolatione Pbilosopiji^; translated by Chaucer, II. 8r^ 

III. 237. Various other transla ions of this work, II. 81. Com- 
pared with the Testament of Love, IV. 33. 

Defe>'.ce,^z\cx\ctQi. %te Prize -figbti-ng. 

Delaware, sir Peter : his factious proceedings against John of Gaunt; 

and punishment. III. 94. — Released from confinement, 126. See 

also III. 136. 
De la Pole, Michael, earl of Suffolk, a minister of Richard 11., 

I. 16, III. 27S, 2S7, 289, IV. 25. Jobn^ earl of Lincoln, 

IV. 161. 


Da Montfort, duke of Britanny, III. 185, 187. 

Denia, count of j made prisoner at the barde of Najara, III. i5l« 
Dispute which arose out or his captivity, in England, ibid. 

De Fericulis No'visnv:orii??i Temporuniy a treatise of Vv iiliam de St, 
Amour, II. 274, 279. 

De Sade, a biogr-pher of Petrarca, I. 368 note. His silence re- 
specting Petrarca's interview with Chaucer, accounted for, 11, 

Desmarets, Jean ; his heroism at the scaffold, IV 36 note, 

Desportes, a French poet of the sixteenth century, II 293. 

Devotion, the, not illustrative of the peculiar manners, of a perrod, 

I. 237^ 

Dicivs Q'etensis, I. 26, 61, 434, 438, III. 17. 

Dii ae la Fleur de Marguerite ; a poem of Froissarr, III. 247, 

Di'Vr.rstoKi of the English in the fourteenth century, I. 88. See the 
articl-es Jiritayi references oi Athletic Exercises; Burlesque Festi- 
'vals j Haivking ; Hitnting 4 Minstrels ; Pageants ; Shows ^ SamJ>tuous 
Entertaimnents ; and Theatre, 

Dominic, St., II. 263, III. 47. 

Dominicans; St. Thomas Aquinas enters into this order, I. 3 1^. 
Origin of the order, (See further Friars,) II. 263. Their dispute 
witti the university of Paris, 272, 2S0. 

Donne, I. 498. 

Donnington Castle, Berks ; Chaucer's residence here, IV. 93 to 1035, 

Drama. See Theatre. 

Drayton, I. 498. 

Dream, Chaucer's poem of, II. 185. Its suTjject, ibid. Story;; 
nation of women, 1S6. — Expedition of the queen to the island of 
the apples, ibid. — Her return with two strangers, ibid. — account 
of the knight, 187. — Arrival of Cupid, by whose meaiis the queea 
«nd knight are comracted to each other, i88. — The knight re- 
visits his own country, ibid. — death of the queen in consequence 
of his long absence, and of the knight on his return, 1S9. — the 
bodies of the lovers transported to the knight's country, ibid. — ■ 
their revival, and"* marriage, ibid. Historical application of the 
poem ; marriage of John of Gaunt with the princess Blanche, 190^ 
— Proved from several coincidences, 191. Irs illustrations of the 
life of Chaucer ; of his residence at Woodstock, ibid., 100, 102 — 
Of his amours, 191. — his passion conceived in 1359, 193. — the 
object of it introduced as a personage in the story, I9--.— dis- 
tinction witfi which he treats her in this character, 196. Mistake 
of Mr. Speght corrected, 199. Marriage of the earl of Rich- 
mond ; account of, 201. Connection of this poem with the 
Parliament of Birds and with the Book of the Duchess, 366. — 
Proved from the particulars related in them of the history of 
Chaucer, 368. See also IV. 191. 
Extract from, see also in III. 271, 

Druids, I. ^i. 


Dryasn, T. 392, II. rt. His character of the versification of Chau- 
cer, I. 396, III. 365. His tragedy of Troilus and Cressida, 

I. 473. His criticism upon Chaucer's Knighces Tale, II. 75. 
Character of his version of the Flower and the Leaf, III. 253. 

Du Bartas,\ French poets of the sixteenth century, II. 291, 
DuBelLy, > IV. 192. 
Duel trial by, I. 50, 201, II. 52. 

Du Guesdin^ Bertrand, constable of France ; conducts the expedition 
of Henry of Transtamare against Peter king of Castille in 1366, 

II. 312. — Takes the field against the Black Prince, 315. — battle 
of Najara ; Du Guesclin taken prisoner, 319, 320. Marches 
against an English invasion in 1370, 392. — His success, 393. — 
final triumph of Henry of Transtamare, 398. His successes 
against the English in the campaign of 1372, 447, 448. — Siege of 
Thouars, 449. Grand march of the English through France in 
1373, 4-5^» 453- Death of Du GuescHn, III. 187^ See also 
II. 107, III. 141. 

Duke, title of ; upon whom first conferred in England, II. 224. 

Conferred upon John of Gaunt and his brother Lionel of Ant^ 

werp, 24.5. 
Dunbar, William, I. 487. 

Dunjo, (or Donjon,) a part of the ancient castles, I. 243. 
Du?is Scotus, I. 26, 309, 315, 11. 267. 
Dumtan, St., I. 261, 262, 295. 
Durham Cathedral, L 233. 
Duttoriy anecdote in the history of the family of, I. loS, 109. 

EARTHQUAKE at London and in other parts of England, during a 
council held against Wicliffe, III. 321. 

Ecclesiastical History : Eleventh century ; the pope assumes the 
power of creating and deposing kings, I. 66. — Impolicy of this 
assumption, 69. Thirteenth century, II. 407 — Impositions of 
the Roman pontiiF: contributions of the clergy ; first-fruits, 409. — 
the episcopal pa!!, appeals, indulgences, pardons, and dispensations, 
reservations, and provisions, 410. — Reign of Henry in., 411. — 
bishop Grossteste, 412. — Reign of Edward i., 413. — statute of 
mortmain, ibid. — dispute^ of Edward i. with his clergy, 414.. — 

statute of provisors, 416. Fourteenth century:- Reign of 

Edward 11., ibid. State of the church at the accession of Ed- 
ward III., ibid. — Statute of provisors revived, 418. — statute of 
premunire, 4i9.~These statutes re-enacted, 420. — King John's 
tribute demanded, 42 i. — unscasonableness of the demand, 423. — it 
is refused, ibid. — Peter's Pence abolished, 424. — Rise of Wicliffe, 
425 — Ace against the mendicant friars, ibid. — Parliamentary re- 
monstrance against the appointment of churchmen to the great 
offices of state, 429. — resignation of the lord chancellor and lord 
treasurer, 430. — causes of this revolution, ibid. — History of 
William of Wykeham, 432 —his offices of state, 435. — con^ 


trivance for the dismission of Wykeham, (See further his article,^ 

II. 440. — Sentiments at this time prevalent respecting the ecxle- 
siastical order, 44.1. — origin of these sentiments, 445. (See also 

III. 115 «(3/f.)-r- Peculiar nature of the question of the papal pro- 
visions and reservations, II. 480. — embassy to the pope on th't^ 
subject, 481. — Account taken of the benefices held by foreignera, 
482. — Eccles'asticai congress at Bruges ; Wicliffe one of the com- 
missioners, 483. — progress of rhe negotiations; papal bulls in be- 
half of the church and clergy of England, III. 38 — close of the 
negotiation, 40. — Progress of the opinions of Wicliffe, 41. 
Champions of the reform of the church previously to this period, 
41. — Satires against its abuses, 43. — Heretics of the twelfth and 
thirteenth centuries, 44. — the Waldenses, ihid. — the Albigenses, 
45.— Sangumary persecuti'ins, 46. System of "Wicliffe, 47. Pro- 
ceedings of the Good Parliament, (See Good 'Parliament,') 67. 
Grand Schism on the death of pope Gregory xi., 301. Poems 
tending to promote the cause of ecclesiastical reformation in 
England, 343. Schism of the church in 1382, 3B0. — Pope 
Urban vi. issues letters of crusade, 38 1. Canon law in the 
fourteenth century, 11. 54. See further IVicLiffe : and See also 
the articles Clergy ; Frian 5 Monks ; and Roman Catholic iieligion, 

'Edelfleda, 1. 261. 

Edinburgh ; John of Gaunt resides at, for a short time in 1331,- 
III. 222. 

Edmund of Langley, (duke of York, and earl of Cambridge,) fourth 
son of Edward III.; distinguishes himself in the campaign of 
1370, in the south of France, II, 385, 386. — Marriea a da'jghter 
of Peter, kmg of Castille, 400 — Returns ro England, 445. Sails, 
with his father, for the relief of Thouars, 449. Retires from the 
administration, on the accession of Richard il-, III. 135. His 
expedition into Spain in 1381, 226, 382. — Historical misrepre- 
sentations on this subject, 227. See also II. 97, 127, 227, 
III. 400, 

Education ; method of, previously to the establishment of universities, 

I. 299. In the time of Chaucer, 32 to 38. — Early discipline of 
persons of rank in the fourteenth century, II. 131 — University- 
education of that century appreciated, I. 315. See also Uni^ 

Edward the Confessor, I. 13, 18 i. 

Edward i. ; his encounter with the count de Chalons at a tourna- 
ment, I. 208. Compared with Edward iir., II. 116. Eccle- 
siastical history of his reign, 413. See also I. 110, 132, 334, 

II. 64. 

Edward 11., II, 416, III. 83, IV. 120. 

Edward 111. ; his personal, literary, and military, character, I, 210, 
II. 9I, no, 171. 217, 218, III, 121, 123. Compared with 
William i., and Edward i., II. 116. — With Henry 11., 117, A 
favourer of Wicliffe, I. 29,— And the patron of Chaucer, and of 
froissart, II. 87, 88, 95, 99, 109, HI. 273. — Chaucer's first 

I N D EX. 

pension, II. 32S, 339. — ^other pecuniary gratuities bestowed by 
the king upon difFtrent persons, 331. — Chaucer appointed on an 
embassy to Genoa, 457, 460. — further marks of favour to Chaucer, 
485, 503, 506. Rebuilds St. Stephen's Chapel, and Windsor 
Castle, 278, III. 123. His marriage with Philippa of Hainauit, 
21. III. Hi«sons, 126. — He knights two of them, 146. Assists at 
a tournament on the marriage of John of Gaunt, 203. Lustre of his 
reign, 120, — Malignant tendency of the system he pursued, r23. 
Practice of public robbery during his reign, 1, 197. His reign the 
grand epoch of tournaments in England, 209. Institution of the 
©rder of the Garter, 212, 412. See also I. 183,248, II. 23 3- 
Rdgn of Ediuard 1 1 1 . 
War with France (1346); battles of Cressy and Poitiers, I. 
184, 399 to 401. — Effects of these victories upon the state of 
France, II. 121, 122. — Siege of Calais, 115, 217. Truce with 
France from 1347 to 135s, 46. Victory obtained by queen 
Philippa at Neville's Cross, 115. War with France renewed 
(i'3 5S)> ^45» — Defiances given and returned, 147. Expedition 
into Scotland, 148. Peace concluded with France, 205. — Con- 
ditions, 206. — rejected by the states of France, ibid. Expedition 
from Sandwich ; grand invasion of France, 207. — Siege of 
Rheims, 211. — English sit down before Paris, 212. — Peace of 
Brecisni, 214, 47. — sentiments of the English respecting this 
treaty, 21 5. — artifices employed to reconcile them to it, 216. The 
king celebrates his birthday, on completing his fiftieth year, by 
several memorable proceedings, zzc,. Obstacles raised by France 
to the execution of the peace of Bxetigni ; the king of France re- 
turns to England, 227. — dies here, 229. The Black Priace 
settles as feudatory lord in the principality of Aquitaine, 226, 
301. War in Spain in 1367, (See Edward tbe Black Prince,') 
314. — Expedition of the Biack Prince into that country, 315. — 
battle of Nsjara, "318. — feelings with which the t^ws of this vic- 
rory were received in England, 320. — unfortunate issue of the 
expedition, 321. Renewal of the war with France, in 1369, 
341, 34S, 340. — military operations of the French king, 349-. — 
duke of Lancaster commands in Picardy, 350. — cautious system 
ef the French monarch, 351. — campaign in the south of France, 
354. Death of queen Philippa, ibid. — Of the duchess of Lan- 
caster, and lord Chandos, 3 55. Aquitaine escheated by the cham- 
ber of the peers of France ; last campaign of the Black Prince, 
3S1. — Eni_lish invade France to the north, (See Knolles, sir Ro- 
bert,) 3S9. — Suspension of the war, 397. Political administra- 
tion of John of Gaunt, 405. Ecclesiastical history, (See that 
artide,) 416. Dsastrous campaign of 1372 in France, (See Ed- 
nvard ibt Black Prince.,) 445 — Death of sir Walter iVlanny, ibid. 
— Sea-fight of the Spaniards, 446. — The king sails with three of 
his sons for the relief of Thouars, 449. — is driven back by adverse 
winds, 450. — returns home, 451. Campaign of 1373 > grand 
march of the English through France, 45 z.- -Negotiations, 454.<> 


Trucf with France, II. 455.— Reflections, 456. Connection be- 
tween Genoa and England ; Genoese squadron hired bv Ed'vard 
III., 459, 460, Political negotiations at Bruges in 1375, III. 37. 
Domestic transactions of the year 1376. 60. — State of public af- 
fairs, ib/d. — Declining state of the king, 61. — Imputed v.evvs of 
John of Gaunt, 63. — conspiracy formed against him, 65.— Con- 
vocation of the Good Parliament, 67.—thvir proceed infrs : re- 
monstrance against the usurpations of Rome, 68. — the king's an- 
swer to this remonstrance, 70. — parliamentary prosecutions, ibid. 
— History of Alice Perrers ; parliamentai-y proceedings against 
lier, 75, 77.— ingratitude of Wykeham in this business, 78. — 
charges exhibited against her, 80. — motives of the prosecution, 
81. — Executive government put into commission, 82. Decease of 
the Black Prince, and consequent proceedings of the commons, 
85, 88. — Reflections upon the history and character of the Good 
Parliament, 89, 91. — John of Gaunt returns bo.Tie, and over- 
turns the usurpations cf Wykeham, 92. — punishment of the 
Usurpers, 93. — articles of accusation against Wykeham, 95. — ^Ri- 
chard created prince of Wales, loi. — The kingdiDesin public 
at Chrisimas; use made of this occcision by Jolin of Gaunt. 102. 
A parliam.ent called (1377), 103. — Its proceedings, 104. Cita- 
tion of Wicliffe, ibid. Calumnies against John of Gauat, 109. — 
Tumult, no. Negotiations with France, 112. — Proposal for the 
marriage of the prince of Wales, T14. — Rupture of the whole ne- 
gotiation ; war renewed, 115, 116. Wykeham reinstated, and his 
temporalities restored, izo. Death of Edward iii., 121. 

EdivardiY., I. 96. 

Edward \ I,, I. 279. 

Edivard the Black Prince: commander in chief in the war with 
France (1355), II. 145. — Takes the king of France prisoner at 
the bcMtie of Poitiers, 47, 122. His character, 126,301. His 
marriage, 302. — Name and condition of his wife, 303. Settles as 
the feudatory lord in the principality ot Aquitaine, 226, 305. 
Birth of a son to him, 305. Lustre of his court at Bourdeaux, 
ibid. Visited by Peter, king of Castille, 306. — His favourable 
reception of that monarch, 312. — His views in behalf of Peter, 
313. — Undertakes his restoration, 314 — Begins his march for 
that purpose, 315. — is joined by his brother the duke of Lan- 
caster, 316. — passes tlie Pyrenees, ii5>/'^.— enters the kingdom of 
Castille, 317. — battle of Najara, 318. — feelings with which the 
news of this victory were received in England, 320. — Unfortunate 
issue of the expedition, 321. — Kypocritical behaviour of the re- 
stored sovereign, 322. — he refuses to discharge his pecuniary ob- 
ligations to the English, 324. — Sickness of the English army, 325. 
— Malady of the Black Prince, 326. Birth of Richard 11,, 340. 
Critical situation of the Black Prince on his return to his govern- 
ment of Aquitaine, 342. — Ke imposes the tax of hearth-money 
upon his subjects, 343.— -discontents produced by this measure ia 
Aquitaine, 345. — secession of some of the French barons, 346, 



— Black Prince summoned by the French king to answer the c6m- 
plaints of his vassals, II. 347. — War, 349. — duke of Lancaster ar- 
rives at Calais, 350. — campaign in the southj 354. — Aquitaine- 
escheated by the chamber of the peers of France, 381. — insidious 
policy of the French king, 383. — Aquitaine invaded by two 
French armies, 384. — Revolt of Limoges, ibid. — Black Prince 
marches against that city, and takes it by storm, ibid. — dejperate 
-conflict; gallant behaviour of the duke of Lancaster, 386. — his 
generous artifice for the preservation of the bishop, 387. — English 
invade France to tlie north, {?>ts Knolles, sir Robert,) 389. Re- 
tirement of the Black Prince, 395. — Duke of Lancaster appointed 
his lieutenant in Aquitaine, 396. — Return of John Gaunt to Eng- 
land ; Captal of Buche takes the command in Aquitaine, 443. 
Disastrous campaign of 1372, ibid. — Plan of the campaign, 446. — 
Sea-figbt of the Spaniards, ibid. — its disastrous consequences, 447. 
— Du Guesclin constable of France, ibid. — Captal of Buche made 
prisoner, 448. — his catastrophe, ibid. — Towns of Aquitaine lost, 
ibid. — Siege of Thouars, 449. — Black Prince sails with his father, 
and two of his brothers, for its relief, ibid. — they arc driven back 
by adverse winds, and return home, 450, 451. Declining state of 
the Black Prince in the year 1376, III. 62, 65. — His decease, 85. 
— His military character, ibid, 
Egil Skallagrim, a scald of the north, I. 90, 286. 
Elizabeth, Qu^een, I. 192. Pageant at her coronation, 175. 
Eli%abeth, duchess of Exeter, II. 198. 
Eltham; palace at, I. 253. 
Embroidery \ state of this art in the early ages, J. 263. — Tapestry of 

Bayeux, 182, 263. In the middle ages, 269. 
Enchantment-, a profession of the minstrels, I. 103. — Example of this 
practice, from a poem of Chaucer, 104. — from sir John Mande- 
ville, 105. 
E?igland; state of, under the Romans, I. 9.— under the Saxons, 10. 
Decline of popery in the fourteenth century, i9> — Progress of' 
the doctrines of WicliiTe, ibid., 11. 426, 418. Discredit of the 
English language under the Norman princes, 1. 30, 332, 476. 
Hospitality of the ancient English ; of the higher classes, 165. 
—of the lower classes, at their festivals, 172. Character of the 
ancient English, 177, 214. Style of living in the middle ages, 
253. — Affection between the higher and lower classes, 254. 
Plague in the year 1349, 402. — Its destructive effects, 15, ^03. 
Rise of the English constitution, II. 56. — Its progress to the end 
of the sixteenth century, 58. Lustre of the reign of Edward iii., 
110. Manners of the English under the Plantagenets, 255. 
Use of wine in the fourteenth century, 486. Formation of the 
English character. III. 208, Rise of rhe commons, I. 19, 334, II. 
57,111. 191,195,415. Battles of Agincourt; Cressy 5 Hastings ; 
Najara ; Neville's Cross ; and Poitiers: See those articles. Wars 
of York and Lancaster, I. 479,11. 58, 109. See also Edward tii. 
{his reign); Richard li. ; and Henry ir.:. And the articles I?:- 


versions; Ecclesiastical History ; Laiv ; Literature i» England ^ Lon^ 

don ; and Universities of England. 
Envy, speech of; from the Visions of Pierce Plowman, III. 356. 
Epic Poetry delineated, I. 470. 
Episcopal Pall, the, II. 410. 
Equality ; excellence of the doctrines of. III. 194. Energetic lessons 

of, inculcated by the insurgents of 1381, 201. 
Eriskin, sir James, 1. 487. 
Esquires; the second step in the education of chivalry, (See Pages,') 

II. 137. Cerenaony of their instalment, ibid. Were trained to the 

performance of menial services, 138. Exercises of the esquires, 

Eton College j origin of the biennial procession ad montem here, 

I. 158. 
Evangelium JEternum, II. 268, 279. 
Evelyn; his testimony respecting Chaucer's residence at Donning-. 

ton, IV. 95. 
Everlasting Gospel. See Evangelium Miernum. 
Eustace de St. Pierre, II. 116. 
Ewelm; antiquities of, IV. 159, 161. 
Exile of Chaucer in the Netherlands, IV. i. 
Extreme Unctien, as practised in the Roman Catholic religion ; 

its effect upon the dying, I. 79. Solemnity of its administra- . 

tion, 81. 

Fableours, ) t tt 

Fabliauxl) 1-345,11.253. 

Fair Maid of Kent. See Joan, viMe of Edward the Black Prince. 

Fair Sex ; deference with which they were regarded in the times of 
chivalry, I. 205, 348, II. 133. — Influence of the principles of chi- 
valry upon the characters of women of rank, II. 1 11. — instances, 
113. — Demeanour of damsels, or young ladies jof family, 140. 
First examples in modern literature of works of considerable ex- 
tent the productions of ladies, III. 263. See also Wo?nen. 

Fairy Queen, I. 479, IV. 192. 

Fame; capriciousness of, II. 30, 76. Personification of, in Chaucer's 
House of Fame, III. 14, 19. Chaucer's professed estimation of 
fame, 23. 

Fast Days of the Roman Catholic religion ; their excessive number, 
I. 78. 

Feast of the Ass; Feast of Fools ; Feast of Innocents. Sqq Burlesque 

Ferdinand, St. ; king of Castille and Leon, II. 308. 

Ferdinand, king of Portugal, III. 226. 

Ferdinand the Catholic, king of Spain, II. 322. 

Ferrers, George, the poet > appointed on one occasion Lord of Mis- 
rule, I. j6o. 


Ferrers, sir Ralph, III. 153. 

Festivals, Burlesque. See Burlesque Festrjals. 

Feudal System; periods of its commencement and decline, I. 40. 
Its nature and purpose, ibid. Taxation unnecessary under, 41, 
II. 344. Its rise out of the allodial, I. 41. — Distinction between 
them, 43. C'^'iditions of the feudal tenure : military service ; 
homage, wardship, and the pecuniary aids, idid.. III. 58. Causes 
of its univeisal adoption, I. 44. Ics operation. 46. Its decline, 
and state in the time cf Chaucer, 47. Was the source of many 
institutions still prevailing in society, Hid., 165. — and of the ideas 

, of chivalry, (See C^/w/r;',) 47. Universality and importance of 
the profession of arms "under this system, 48. Military exer- 
cises : jusr-; tilts; tournaments: trial by duel, 50. The feudal 
svstemcoinpletely established in England by the Conqueror, 239. 
Character of the feudal law, II. 55. Sentiment of loyalty, un- 
der the feudal system, III. 165, 166. State of soriety in Eu- 
rope in the latter part of the fourteenth century, 191. — villainage, 
193. — Decline cf the feudal system, 194. — representation, Hid. — 
reauriers, Hid. 

Fiammfila, La; a romance of Boccaccio, I. 422. 

Fielding i IV. 195. 

Filostraio, II; a poem of Boccaccio, I. 422. Asserted to be the ori- 
ginal of the Treilus and Creseide, 429. — This assertion refuted, 
431 to 437. — The two poems compared, 484. 

Fine An s, state of, in the early and middle ages, I. 215. — Carried to 
a hi,u,h degree of perfection by the clergy, 271. In the reign of 
Henry iii., 273. In the fourteenth century, 277. — St. Ste- 
phen's Chapel, 278. Period of Chaucer, 283. See also the ar- 
ticles Architecture ; Embroidery j Metallic Arts ; Music ; Painting ; 
and Sculpture and Fainting. 

Fifsl-jrvAts, II. 409. 

FifZ'Alan, Richard, earl of Arundel. See Arundel, earl of. 

Fiiz-Ral/j.b, archbishop of Armagh, I. 302, 313, III. 42, 48. 

Flanders, political stt.te cf, in the fourteenth century; usurpations of 
the D'Artsviiles, 111.385,386, 3S7. — Battic of Rosebecq, 390. 
— English expedition, under Spencer, bishop of Norwich; its 
prcgress, and rccult, 392, 396. 

Flen.ings in England pioscribed and massacred by the insurgents un- 
der Wat Tyler, III. 207. 

Fleta ; la vv -treatise, II. 60, 65. 

Fletcher, I. 392, II, 77; 498, IV. 195. 

Florence; plague at, in the fourteenth century, I. 404. 

Fhrent ; Gower's story of, II. 13, IV. 79. 

Floure and theLefe; examination of the poem of, III. 249, 
— The story ; the poet's walk in May, ibid. — goldfinch ; xi\^x.~ 
ingale, /<5'/4 — Ladies of the Leaf; and their knights, 250. — wor- 
ship of the laurel, ibid. — Knights and Ladies of the Flower, ibid. — 
worship of the daiiy, 251 — Sun and rain, ibid. — hospitality of 
the party of the Leaf, ibid. — Explanation, 252, Dryden's ver- 


sion of the Flower and the Leaf, III, 253. The original of the 
Floure and the Lefe written by a lady, 262. 
Extract from, see also in III. 270. 

Forest'Lavji ; seventy of those enacted by the Conqueror, I. 180. 
Effect of these, 194. 

Fortification; ancient state of, in England, ^te Architecture (^Military 
Architecture, and Ancient Castles^. 

France ; state of, in the middle of the fourteenth century, II. 48.— 
Ruin and devastation which followed the battle of Poitiers, 123. 
Peace with England (1359), 205. — Conditions, 206. — rejected by 
the states of France, ibid. Grand invasion of France byj the 
English, 207. — Siege of Rheims, 211. — English sit dow^n before 
Paris, 212, Peace of Bretigni, 214. Renewal of the war with 
England in 1369, 341. See also Jobn^ king of France; Cbarlesw.'^ 
and Charles vi. 

Francis, St., II. 264. 

Franciseans ; story of two, mistaken by some monks, for players, I. 
130. Origin of this order, 11.263. See also I. 309 j and the ar- 
ticle Friars. 

Franco of Calogn ; the inventor of the time-table, I. 289. 

Fb-anklin's Tale ; Extract from, I. 104, 

Friar's Tale; Extract from, 1. 103. 

Friars ; distinction of, from monks, I. 304. Were universally men- 
dicant, 305, Their rise on the discredit of the monastic orders, 
306. Their principles and manners, ibid. — industry and zeal, 
307. — literary acquisitions, 308, Their first settling in England, 
3°3> 309. Eminent scholars in their number, 309, II. 267. 
Their prosperous career. 1. 309. Their influence over the minds 
of youth, 311. — Illustrated by the personal history of Thomas 
AquiE?!s, ibid. Rise of the mendicant orders, II. 262. — The 
Dominican and Franciscan, 263. Vows of the friars, 265. — Vo- 
luntary poverty, /'/J/V/. Their licerar;/ eminence, 266. They are 
opposed by the heads of the univerbities, 267. Evangelium Ster- 
num, 268. Abbot Joachim, ibid. Mitigation of the rule of the 
mendicant orders, 269. — Schism thus occasioned among the friars, 
270. — tenets of the spiritual party, ibid. — John of Parma ; Intro- 
ductio ad Evangelium JEtermcm, 268, 272. Claim of the Domini- 
cans to certain professorships in the university of Paris, 272, — St. 
Amour De Periculis Novissimorum Temporum, 274. — the Everlast- 
ing Gospel condemned, 278. — St. Amour condemned, 279. — vic- 
tory of the mendicants, 280. English law against the mendicants 
in 1366, 425. Satire upon the mendicant friars in the Romance 
of the Rose, (See Romance of the Rose,) 259. 

Froissart ; asserted to have been the inventor of the shorter and 
more airy classes of poetry, III. 263 to 273. See also II. 254. 

III. 273. 

Fuico Guarine, an ancient baron in the reign of king John, I. 107. 


VALFRIDE DE Vino Salvo, I. 26. 

Galileo, I. 30. • 

Garrick, TI. 379. 

Garter; origin, and institution, of the order of, I. 212, 412,11. 113. 
John of Gaunt and his brorher Lionel of Antwerp knights of 
this order, II. 327, 328. See also III. 289 note. 

Gascoigne, Dr. Thomas j his assertions relative to the cause of John 
of Gaunt's death, IV. 126. — Refuted, 127. 

Gaufr id, ahhot of St. Albans, I. 123. 

Genoa ; Chaucer appointed ambassador to, II. 457. Importance of 
this republic during the reign of the Plantagenets, ibid. — Con- 
nection with England, 459. Genoese squadron hired by Ed- 
ward III., 460. Objects of Chaucer's embassy, ibid. — His 
colleagues, 461. 

Geoffrey of Monmouth, I. 26, 59, 435, II, 261, III. 17. 

Gerson ; his censure of the Roman de la Rose, II. 281. — Motives of 
this censure, 282. 

Vesta Ri)manorum, a literary production of the twelfth cent^iry, I. 25, 
IV. 76. 

Gestes of Guarine, I. 112' 

Gignadii, {forte GjrmKasii,) a Latin name of the minstrels, I. 113. 

Gilbert, John ; bishop of Bangor, II. 482, III. 41, 114, 115. 

Giotto, I. 276, 277, 279, 282, 284, 

Gladiator es, z. Latin name oi' the minstrels, I. 113. 

Glanmlle, Ranulph de, 11. 59. 

Gleemen, a degenerate species of the scalds, I. 91, 112. 

Glo'ver, Robcrr, III. 147,1V. 158. 

Gmsiics, the, III. 45, 48. 

Code Counsaile of Chaucer ; verses supposed to have been 
written by him on his death-bed, IV. 154, 156. 

Good Parliatnent ; convocation of, in the year 1376, III. 67. 
Coalition of parties, ibid. Remonstrance against the usurpations 
of Rome, 68. — Fate of this remonstrance, 70. Parliamentary 
prosecutions, ibid. History of Catherine Swinford, and of Alice 
Perrers, 72, 75. — Parliamentary proceedings against the latter, 
77. — charges exhibited against her, 80. — motives of the prosecu- 
tion, 81. Executive government put into commission, 82. New 
ambassadors to t" ranee appointed, 84. Death of the Black Prince ; 
and consequent proceedings of the commons, 85, 8 8. Reflections 
upon the history and character of the Good Parliament, 89, 91. 

Good Queen Anne. See A.ine of Bohemia. 

Gorboduc, an old English tragedy, I. 396. 

Gothic Styles of Architecture . See Architecture ( Religious Architecture). 

Government noi founded in consent, II. 401. 

Gower, Henry, bishop of St. Davids, II. 14. 

Goiver, the confidential friend of Chaucer ; memoirs of him, II. x. 
His biography, 11. — His blindness, 15. Question of priority be- 
tween him and Chaucer, I. 3 3 7 to 341 , II. 1 2. Character of his 
English poetry, II. 12. His profession, 13 — Affirmed by L^and 


to have been a judge, II. 13. — contradiction, and improbability, o£ 
this supposition, ibid. His rank, ibid. His family, 14. His con- 
nection with Thomas of Woodstock, son of Edward iii., ibid,y 
96, IV. 80. — His satisfaction at the overthrow of Richard 11., II. 
16. His opulence, 17, His woiks, I. 339,11. iS. — Tale of ApoUy- 
nusof Tyre, II. 13, 38,1V. 79. Friendship of Chaucer and Gower, 
11; 19. — Erroneous statements on this subject, ibid. — have been 
continued by modern writers, ai. His moral character impeached, 
22. — accused of ingratitude to kin^ Richard, 23. — Vindicated, 
ibid. — his obligations to that monarch stated, 24. — motives of Ri- 
chard's encouragement, 25. — its tesxAis^ibid. — Gower's succeeding 
conduct, 26. — His real patron, 27, — this patron destroyed by Ri- 
chard, 28. — Gower's consequent sentiments and conduct, 29, 
IV. 139. Breach between Chaucer and Gower, II. 31. Degree 
of blame imputable to either party uncertain, 3/; — Long duration 
of their friendship honourable to both, 35. (See also IV. 79 to 
84.) Literacy character of Gower, II. 35. — Emulation of Chau- 
cer, 36, IV, 78. — Comparison of Gower and Strode, II. 38. — 
His celebrity inferior to that of Chauce;', 93. See also I. 36, 122, 
3315 341J 476, III. 370, 375, IV. 13. 

Grand Schism on the death of pope Gregory xr., III. 301. 

Grecian Style of architecture compared with the Gothic style, 
I. 229. 

Gregory the Great, pope, I. 65, 287. 

Gregory xi., pope; English embassy to him on the subject of the 
papal provisions, II. 481, 482. — Negotiations with the English 
commissioners at Bruges, 482, III. 37, 38. His bulls against 
WiclifFe, III. 298, 299. His death the origin of the Grand 
Schism, 301. 

Grisildis, tale of. See Patient Grisilde. 

Grose, Mr. ; his testimony respecting Chaucer's residence at Don- 
nington, IV. 98, 106. 

Grossieste, bishop of Lii;coln, I. 309, 418, II. 44, 412, III. 42, 48, 

Gualtier de Chat i lion, J, 38, 62. 

Guelphs and Gbihbelines, disputes of, III. 43. 

Guibert, antipope in the time of Urban II., I. 266. 

P'uido, iV. 1 90. 

Giddo Aretino, 1.289,292. 

Guide Ca'valca7iti, I, 356. 

Guido dalla Colonna, T. 26, 435, II. 89, III. 17. 

Guildford Castle, I, 144, 246. 

Guillaume le Breton, I. 38, 62. 

Guiione d'' Are%zo, I. 356. 

Gundidph, bishop of Rochester ; his improvements in the architecture 
of the ancient castles, I. 24^, 251. 

HALES, SIR Robert, murdered by the insurgents of 1381, 

III. 200. 
Hamlet, tragedy of, I. 138. 


Mardyng ; Extract from his chronicle, relative to the battle of Auray>^ 

III. 228. 
Harlot, a name of the minstrels, I. 11 1. 
Harold, king of England, I. 181. 
Harvest-home. See Largesse. 
Hastings, battle of, I. 239. 
Haivk'.ng; a favourite diversion of the ancient English, I. 181. 

Price'of a pair of hawks in the reign of James i,, 182. — Esteem 

in which these birds were held, ibid. — law respecting them, 

183. This diversion abolished by the invention of the musquet, 

^awi/Kj's Origin of the English Drama, 1. 138. 
Hawley, Robert ; his dispute with John of Gaunt, III. 150. His 

death, 153. 
Hearth-monty ; imposition of, in Aquitaine, II. 343. 
Henderson, ) ^^^^^^^ g^^ Benryson. 
Hemisoun, y 

Henry I., king of England, I. 22, 180,295. 
Henry ij.,l. 22, 66, 208, 251, 343, 11. 89, HI. 123- Compared with 

Edward iii., II. 117. 
Hefiry in., I. 132, 195, II. 108, III. 83. State of the fine artB in 

his time, I. 273, 275 note. Ecclesiasdcal history of his reign, 

II. 4". 

Henry of BoUngbroke, (earl of Derby,) son of John of Gaunt; his 
quarrel with the duke of Norfolk, IV. 121 to 124.' — Lists at Co- 
ventry, 124. — bmh the combatants ordered into banishment, 125. 
Death of John of Gaunt, 126. — His estates confiscated to the 
crown, 133. Richard II. goes into Ireland, 134. Character and 
dispositions of Henry, 135. — He lands in England, 136. — his ap- 
parent moderation ; and his success, 137. — he puts to death the 
favourites of Richard, 138. Richard returns ; is taken prisoner ; 
and deposed : Eolingbroke proclaimed king as 
Henry IV., - - 138. 

He encourages Chaucer, 141, 149. Plot for the assassination of 
Henry, 149, I. 146. — Executions, IV. 151. Death of Richard 
II., ihd., 152. See also II. 340, III. 397, 400, IV. 107, 143. 

Henry v., I. no. 

Hemy vii., II. 199. 

Henry viii., I. 73, 188. Compared with John of Gaunt, III. 57. 

Henry iv., emperor of Germany, L 66. 

Henry HY., king of France, 11.290,292. 

Henry ofTransiamare ; aspires to the crown of Spain, II. 309. Goes 
into exile, 310. His cabals, ibid. Obtains the crown, 312. Ex- 
pedition of the Black Prince in favour of Peter, the deposed so- 
vereign, 315. — Result of this expedition; restoration of Peter, 
321. Final success of Henry ; and death of Peter, 399, Sea-fight 
with the English in 1372, 446, 

Henry, prince of Asturias ; marries Catharine of Lancaster, daugh- 
ter of John of Gaunt, IV. 60. 


Henry, duke of Lancaster; father of the princess Blanche, II, X34, 
135, 212, 216,221, 224, 335. 

Henry of Blois, bishop of Winchester, I. 227. 

Henry de. Wodehal, a monk ; warden of Canterbury Hall, Oxford, II. 
4S4, 485. 

Henryson, Robert, author of a sequel to the Troilus and Creseide, 
(See Testament of Creseide,) 1,486. 

Hercules, III. 16. Was a knight-errant of antiquity, I, 48. 

Hereford, Br. Nicholas ; one of the principal adherents of Wic- 
liffe. III. 31S, 325, 327. 

Herodotus y II. 42. 

Historj' ^ popular manners a necessary point of attention in writing 
history, I. 163. Capriciousness of fame, II. 30. Principles of 
historical evidence, 42. Sense of the term illuiiYious,z.% applied in 
history, 120. Difference of historians, 254. 

Histrio, a Latin name of the minstrels, I. m, 116, 121. 

Holland, sir John, uterine brother of Richard 11., III. 420, 422, 
IV. 58. 

Hollinshed; his description of two royal pageants, I. 174, X75. - 

Holy rood House, Edinburgh j John of Gauat resides here for a short 
time. III. 222. 

Home, Andrew, II. 60. 

Hamer, I. 36, 82, 93, 358, 434, 438, II. 220, 493, III. 4, 17, Com- 
pared with Shakespear, I. 509, 

Honour, principles of, the offspring of the darker ages, I. 199, 200. 

Horace, IV. 41. 

Houghton, Adam ; bishop of St. Davids, III. 115 Si note. 

House of Fame ; outline of Chaucer's poem of. III. i. Its ge- 
neral merits, '^ibid. Prologue, 2. — Chaucer's sensibility to criti- 
cism, 3. Book I., 4. — Temple of Venus, 5 — adorned with 
paintings from the^Eneid, ibid. — The surroundingdesert, ibid. — 
The golden eagle, 6. Book ii„ 7. — Journey of" Chaucer to the 
House of Fame, ibid. — its occasion and purpose, ibid.—^}l\s prin- 
ciples of philosophy, 8. — He sees in his flight the earth, the me- 
teors, and the constellations, 10. — His arrival, i i.->-Inhabitants of 
the House of Fame, ibid. Book iii., ibid. — Castle of Fame 
seated upon a rock of ice, ?6/^/.— Surface of the rock, 12. — Mate- 
rials of the castle, 1 3 . — its style of building, internal architecture, 
and appearance, ibid, — Person of the Goddess, 14. — her throne, 
j'i'/t/— Worthies whose images occupy the castle, i 5. — Pillars, ibid, 
to 18. — The historians, 16.— Petitioners in the House of Fame, 
19. — their varying success, ibid. — ^olus and his trumpets, 20. — . 
Suitors to the goddess, 21, 22 — Chaucer's professed estimation of 
fame, 23.— ^House of Tydinges, 24.— its materials and construc- 
tion, ibid. — occupation of its inhabitants, 25. — progress and desti- 
nation of the stories, 26.— frequenters of the House of Tydinges, 
ibid. — tidings heard by Chaucer here, ibid. — corner appropriated to 
tidings of love, 27.— Conclusion of Chaucer's dream, ibid.- — his 
character of himself, 28. — he writes under some oppression of 
VOL. JV. , B B_ 


mind, III. 29. Period at which this poem was produced, 30.—' 
The subject taken from some writer of the middle ages, 32 — Its 
character, 33. — Its peculiar beauties, 34. Pope's Temple of Fame, 
35. Connection of the House of Fame with the Complaint of the 
Black Knight, 182. See also I. 340, 434, III. 234, 237, 346, 
Extracts from, also in III. 30, IV. 73,181. 

Hudibras, I, 193, II. 242,1V. 193. 

Hume; a domestic occurrence in the fourteenth century misstated by 
him, I, 197 note. His remarks upon the result of the battle of 
Poitiers, II. 122. — Account of the devastation which ensued in 
France, 123. Reproaches the Lollards with pusillanimity. III. 

Hmtr/tg; a. favourite diversion of the ancient English, I. 177. For- 
mation of the New Forest, 178. Severity of the original forest- 
laws, 180. Inclosure of the park at Woodstock, Hid. Numerous 
forests, chases, and parks, possest by our early kings, 181. 

Huntingdon, carl of. See Dangle, sir Guichard. 

IL DECAMERONE. %t& Decamerone. 

Iliad, II. 231, IV. 199. Homer and Shakespear compared, I. 509, 

Illuminating, art of, I. 102, 268. 

images, worship of, I. 258, 259. 

hnpriionmeni of Chaucer in the Tower, IV, 15. His employments 
in prison, 30. His imprisonment compared with that of Boe. 
thius, 32. 

Indulgences, pardons, and dispensations; sale of, II. 410. — Opposed 
byWiclifFe, III. 48. 

Ingulphtis, I. 1 12. , 

Innocent iii., pope, II. 266. 

Innocent IV., pope, II. 270, 280. 

Insurrection of the common people of England in 138 1, (See Richard 
II.,) III. 197. Of the common people of France during the mi- 
nority of Charles vi., 379. 

Introductio ad E'vangelium JEternum, II. 268, 272. 

IsUp, Simon, archbishop of Canterbury, II. 427, 484, 

Italy ; state of taste in, in the fourteenth century, 1. 484. 

JACK. UPLAND, an imputed production of Chaucer, III. 344^ 

James I., III. 287. 
James, king ot Majorca, II. 306. 
Janes, king of Navarre, III. 140. 
Jerusalem ; capture, and recapture, of, in the eleventh-and twelfth 

centuries, I. 67. 
Jerusalem Chamber, I. 275, 283. 
Joachim, abbot, II. 268. 
Joan^ wit'e of Edward the Bl^ck Prince, II. 3%, 394. Prqtect* 

■I N D E X. 

WicIifFe, in his persecution, III. 300. Effects a reconciliation be- 
tween John of Gaunt and her son Richard 11., 429. 

Joan^ wit'e to David Bruce"j lier dower, II. 334, 335 note. 

Jogeler^joculator, jongleur, juglator, jugleur ; names of the minstrels, 
I. 100, III, 120. 

"John, king of England, I. 107, 246, 302, 334^ II. z66, IH. 64. 
King John's tribute, 11.421. 

John, king of Bohemia, III. 274. 

'John, king of France; taken prisoner by the Black Prince at Poi- 
tiers, II. 47, 122. Revisits England ; and dies in the palace of the 
Savoy, 227, 229, See also I. 17, II. 336, III. 187. 

'John, king of Portugal, marries theeldestdaughterof John of Gaunt, 
IV. 59. 

yohn of Chichester f mayor of London, III. 350 noie. 

John de Conflans, mareschal of Burgundy, II. 124. 

John of Gaunt, third son of Edward iir., II. 127. Juvenile 
history of : his birth j is created earl of Richmond, 129. — -Plan of 
his education, 130. State of the royal family, 134. — Matilda 
and Blanche cousins to the minor princes, 135. War with 
France (1355), '45- — ^^ '^ enrolled in this war, 146. — knighted, 
ibid. Expedition into Scotland (1356), 148. Manners of the 
earl of Richmond, as delineated by Chaucer, 150. — His passion 
for the princess Blanche, 152. — character of the princess, 153.—* 
— irresolution of her lover, 160. — his propensity to writing verses, 
162. — his first sonnet, 164. — Chaucer his poetical preceptor, 
ibid. — he discloses his suit, 166. — his addresses are rejected, ibid. 
—his courtship the subject of Chaucer's Parliament of Birds, 
168. — his character in that poem, 182. — His marriage, 201. — 
tournament on this occasion, 202. — his harmony with his consort 
in the nuptial state, 204. Grand invasion of France in 1359; 
Chaucer appears in the invading army, 208, 209, 211. — Siege of 
Rheims, 211, 212. Wealth of John of Gaunt, 221. — His landed 
property, 223. — His castles, ibid., I. 252. — Duchy of Lancaster, 
ir. 223. — Palace of the Savoy, 224. Created duke of Lancaster, 
ibid. — Style of John of Gaunt at this time, 225. State of the 
royal family ; preparing the future influence of John of Gaunt in 
the government, 226. John, king of France, visits England, 
and resides in John of Gaunt's palace of the Savoy, 227, 229. — • 
He dies there, 229. John of Gaunt joins the Black Prince in his 
expedition into Spain, 314, 316. — Distinguishes himself at the 
battle of Najara, 319,320. Elected knight of the Garter, 327. 
Chaucer's fiist pension : Birth of Henry i v., 340. Duke of Lan- 
caster commands in Picardy, in the war of 1369, 350.^ — Cautious 
system of the French monarch, 351. — Fable of the monkish his- 
torian, 3^2. — Misrepresentations of the character of John ofi 
Gaunt, 354, III. 90, 91. Death of his duchess, Blanche, II- 
355. — Poem of Chaucer on this occasion, (See Book of th£ 
Duchess,) 356. Campaign of 1370; Limoges taken by storm 
385. — Desperate conflict 5 gallant behaviour of the duke of Lan- 


caster, II. 386. — ^hls generous artifice for th^ preservation of 
the bishop, 387,' — Duke of Lancaster appointed lieutenant of 
Aquitaine on the retirement of the Black Prince, 395.-— affair of 
Montpaon, 396. Suspension of the war, 397. Second marriage 
of the duke of Lancaster (to the heiress of Castille), 398. — his 
character, 399.— He assumes the title of king of Casdlle, 400.— 
impolicy and immorality of this proceeding, 401. — motives from 
which it sprung, 403. Political administration of John of Gaunt, 
405. — his connection with WiclifFe, 428, I. 29. — partiality dis- 
played by John of Gaunt for men of literary genius, II. 428. — 
Parliamentary remonstrance against the appointment of church- 
men to the great offices of state ; and its effects, 429, 430. — causes 
of this revolution ; ascendancy of John of Gaunt in the councils ^ 
of his father, 430, 431. — History of William of Wykeham j his 
character, 432,. 434. — contrast betv/een John of Gaunt and 
Wykeham, 439, — contrivance for the dismission of Wykeham,- 
4.40. John of Gaunt returns to England (from Aquitaine), 445 . — 
Plan of the campaign of 1372, 446. — He sails with his father for 
the relief of Thouars, 449. — driven back by adverse winds, 450. — 
they return home, 451. Expedition of John of Gaunt in 1373; 
grand march of the English through France, 452. — Negotiations, 
454. — truce between England and France, 455. — Reflections, 456. 
Ecclesiastical history of England continued ; embassy to the pope 
on the subject of his provisions, 481. Chaucer appointed 
comptroller of the customs ; owes this appointment to John of 
Gaunt, 503, 506. — motives^ of the donation, 507, — Chaucer's 
ministerial character, 509. 

Political negotiations at Bruges in 1375, III. 37. John: of 
Gaunt presents WicIiSe with the living of Lutterworth, 41. — 
Their intimacy; religious purposes of each, 55, 56. John of 
G.aunt compared with Henry vrii., 57. — With cardinal Wolsey, 
ii>id. State of the domestic affairs of England at the opening of 
the year 1376,60. — Declining state of the king, 61. — State of 
the royal family, 62, 63. — Imputed views of John of Gaunt, 63. 
— obstacles to such views, 64. — Conspiracy formed against hinj, 
65.-^members of this party, 66. — Convocation of the Good Par- 
liament, 67.— coalition cf parties in, against John of Gaunt, ibid. 
— history of Catherine Swinford, and of Alice Ferrers : parlia- 
mentary proceedings against the latter ; and the motives of, 72, 
75, 77,81. — Executive government put into commission, 82,84. — 
John of Gaunt superseded in his embassy to France, 84. — reflec- 
tions upon the proceedings of the Good Parliament, as affecting 
John of Gaunt, 80, 91. John of Gaunt returns heme, 92. — 
Overturns the usurpations of Wykeham, ibiil — Punishment of 
the usurpers, 93. — -sir Peter Delamare, 94, — the earl of March, 
3i>id.- — Accusation of Wykeham, 95. — charges exhibited againss 
him, 96. — remarks upon these, 97, 98. — temporalities of his 
bishopric sequestered, 98. — observations, 100. Richard created 
iprince of Wales, loj.— temporalities of Wykeham granted to him 


ill. 101. Edward lii. dines in public at Christmas; use maftc 
cf this occasion by John of Gaunt, 102. Furtlier mark of favotrr 
bestowed upon Chaucer, 103. A _parliament called, ibid. — Its 
proceedings, 104. Citation of WiclifFe; conduct of John of 
■Gaunt, ibid., 106. Calumnies against joh« of Gaunt, 109.— « 
Tumult of the citizens of London, no. iSfegotiations with France, 
112. — proposal for the marriage of the prince of Wales, 114. — > 
Rupture of the whole negotiation; war renewed, 115,' ii6. 
Wykeham reinstated, and his temporalities restored, 120. Death 
of Edward IJI. ; accession of Richard 11., 121, 125. — Proceed- 
ings of John of Gaunt ; reconciliation with the city of Londoh, 
iz6. — pardon extended to Wykeham, ibid. Coronation, 127. 
Retirement of John of Gaunt, 128. — Motives upon which it wa^ 
founded, 129. — his enemies numerous, 130. — Disadvantages he 
must have encountered as regent, 131. — Advantageousr.ess of 
Jiis situation as a private individual, ibid. — with regard to public 
benefit, /i^isf.. — atid to his private interest, 132. His loyalty and 
attachment t« Richard, 133. His retirement condemned, 134. 
War ; John of Gaunt appointed commander in chief, 138. — - 
Cherburgh and Brest placed in the hands of the Engligh, 139, 
140. — first campaign, 1-41. Chaucer reappointed comptroller of 
the customs, 142. — His pensions, 143. John of Gaimt complains 
cf the commons, 149. AfFdir of Hawley and Shakel, 150. — Re- 
sult of this affair, 154. Statute oi scandaliim magnaUim .-piiSicd^- 
355. Unpopularity and misfortunes of John of Gaunt, 156, — ■ 
Chaucer's poem of the Complaint of the Black Knight written on 
occasion of these circumstances, (See Complaint of the 
Black Knight,) 157. -Political commis-.ion-s to John of 
Geunt, 188. — He is sent against the Scots, 189. State of seciety 
in Europe at this tfme : insurrection of the comraon people of 
England, 191, 197,208, 209. — Antipathy, of the insurgents to 
John of Gaunt, 212, 220. — Causes of his unpopularity, 213. — 
calumaies of his enemies, ibid. — encouraged by his attachment to 
the Reformation, 214. — and by his elevated and free spirit, ibid, 
<J^arrel with the earl of Northumberland, 215. — John of Gaunt 
commissioned to adjust differences with the Scots, 216. — News 
received of Wat Tyler's ir.iurreetion, 217. — Truce coricludeci 
with the Scots, 218. — John of Gaunt refused entrance into 
Berwick by the earl of Northumberland's officer, 219. — his situa- 
tion at this time, ibid. — distress of the Spanish princess, his con- 
sort, 220. — anxieties suffered by him, ibid. — his palace of the 
Savoy burned, 221. — he retires to Edinburgh, 222. — hospitality 
of the Scotch nobility, 223, 224. — returns to London,- 224. — 3 
parliament, 225. — reconciliation with the earl of Northumber- 
land, rbid. Expedition of the earl of Cambridge into Spain, 228, 
-^Historical misrepresentations on the subject of this expedition, 
2.Z1 ■ R'chard II. assumes the government : his confidoiiial mi- 
nisters ; their offensive proceedings, and pernicious counsels, 2775 
aSj, 259, 2 00-,— Prodigality of the youthful monarch, 292. — ?i- 


taation of John of Gaunt, III. 193. — nature of his magnificence^ 
294. — compared with that of Richard, ibid. — animosity of the 
kmg's favourites against him, 296. Progress of Wicliffe: he 
is opposed ; solicits the support of John of Gaunt, and is refused, 
297, 310,312, 315. — Probable motives of this refusal : the unpro- 
sperOus situation of John of Gaunt, 313. — the unhappy disposi- 
tions "Qf Richard ir., 314. — the exrreme to which Wicliffe pro- 
ceeded^ which John of Gaunt might disapprove from views of 
piety, or of policy, 316, 317. — Humane and benevolent conduct 
of John of Gaunt, 318. His temper, 334. — Anecdote, 337. — re- 
, flections, 340, 341. Schism of the church : pope Urb.-tn issues 
letters of crusade : John of Gaunt proposes an expedition into 
Spain; declined by parliament, 380,381, 382. — State of Spain 
at this time ; motives for invasion, 383. — sentiments of John of 
Gaunt, 384. Renewal of the Scottish truce, 394. John of Gaunc 
appointed lieutenant of France, 396. Projects of the courtiers of 
Richard II. against John of Gaunt, 399, 400. — Features of the 
conspiracy, 401. Contention respecting the mayoralty of Lon- 
don, 402. John of Gaunt marches against the Scots, 417. Parlia- 
ment at Salisbury, ibid. Information of Friar Latimer, 418. — 
Communicated to John of Gaunt, 419. — his defence, ibid. — Re- 
sentment of Thomas of Woodstock, 421. — Catastrophe of the in- 
former, 422. — inferences from this event, /^/is'.— Improbability of 
the accusation, 423, John of Gaunt employed in France, 425. 
Further conspiracy againit him, 426. — he retires to Pomfret, 
429. — mediation of the king's mother ; reconciliation of John o£ 
Gaunt with the king, ibid., 430. — Consequences of these pro- 
ceedings, 430. 

Spanish expedition of John of Gaunt, IV. 58. — Its results; bis 
eldest daughter married to the king of Portugal, 59. — John of 
Gaunt returns into Aquitaine, 60. — Treaty of peace between 
him and the reigning king of Castille, ibid. — his daughter, 
Catherine, married to the prince of Asturias ; John of Gaunt 
surrenders his personal claims to the Spanish sovereignty, ibid.j 
62. Returns to London, 61. Is created duke of Aquitaine, 62. 
—Calumny of Leland refuted, 63. Death of the duchess of Lan- 
caster ; John of Gaunt marries Catherine Swinford, sister to 
Chaucer's wife, 103, 104. — Favours bestowed by him upon the 
family of Chaucer, 105 to 108, 173. Conspiracy of Thomas of 
Woodstock; punishment of conspirators, 118. — Assassination of 
that prince, 119. Quarrel of Henry of Bolingbroke with the 
duke of Norfolk, 121 to 125. Death of John of Gaunt, 126. 
Supposed particulars of this event, ibid. — Refuted, 127 to 132.— 
John of Gaunt not a man of debauched manners, 132. His 
character, ibid., 169. See also I. 252, 341, III. 290 note. 

"Jocn de. Mari, a colleague of Chaucer in his embassy to Genoa, 
II. 460, 461. 

"john dc Meun, the author of the latter part of the Roman de la Ros€, 
1.352. His other works, i^id. Fonion oi the Roman de ia Rc<c 


written by him, II. 235 to 239. — This poem imitated by Regaier, 
290, 297 — comparison of them, 298. See also III. 2. 

'John of Borthamptoyi, the popular candidate for the mayoralty of 
London in 1384, III. 405, 408. — Unsuccessful, 409, 412. Made 
a prisoner by the court, 416. His trial and sentence, 425. — 
Pardoned, IV. 49. Proceedings and motives of the populaac 
party, as stated by Chaucer, 21 to 23. 

"John of Parma, St., II. zi%, 277. 

"John of Raumpayne, a mihstrel in the reign of king John, T. 107, 

fohn of Saliibury; character of his writings, I. 23. Extracts froai 

-his Policraticus, 11,7, 120. See also I. 113,11. 260. 
Johnson, Dr., I. 353, 497, II. 22. His Lives of the Poets, I. 391. 
jfoinville, I. 351. Extract from, 9(9. 
Jonson, Ben, IT. 494, 498, IV. 84, 85. 
Joseph of Exeter, I. 23, 38, 62, 4.39, II. 261. 
Josepbus, III. 17. 

Justs. See Tcurnaments. Instance of a royal justing in Smithfieia, 
I. 142. 

KENELIFORTH Castle, I. 175, 192, 252, 11. 223, III, 12.9. 

Kinaston, sir Francis, L 495. 

King John, Shakespear's tragedy of, III. 33. 

King John' s !rr/(^«//f abolished, II. 421. 

Kings, four entertained at once by a citizen of London, I. 17. 

Knight Errantry. See Chivalry. 

Knightes Tale ; an abridgment of the Palamon and Arcite, 
11.72. Subject the same as that of Boccaccio's Teseide, 73 — 
Qu^estion whether taken from that source, I. 436, II. 73, 177, 
473, III. 17 note. Chaucer's poem full of incident and variety, 
II. 73, 75. Compared with the Teseide, 77. — Fable of both 
poems, 78. — points in which they differ, 79. See also IV. 185. 

Knighthood ; preparatory education of the candidates for this dignity 
in the fourteenth century, (See Pages; and Esquires,) I. zoo., 
II. 131. Period of admission, II. 142. Ceremonies with which 
it was conferred, /^/'^.-^Fasts ; confession; ablutions, 143. — Night- 
watchings in the church, ibid. — Investiture, and oath, 144. See 
also Chi'valry ; and Tournaments . 

Knighton : animosity of this historian to John of Gaunt, II. 222 note, 
in. 334- 

Knolles, sir Robert; invades France in 1370, II. 389. — Chivalrous 
exploits during this expedition, 390. — Misunderstanding among 
she English commanders, 391.— Du Guesclin marches against 
them, 392. — his success, 393. Quells an insurrection of the 
citizens of London in 1384, III. 411, 416. See also III. 206. 


MA FONrATNE, I. 345, II. 2S5, IV. 167. 

liancaster : Thomas, earl of 5 and Henry, duke of : See thcsg: 
articles. John of Gaunt created duke of, II. 224. 

]Lanfr~a):c, archbishop of Canterbury, I, 265. 

Eangbam, Simon, archbishop of Canterbury, II. 484, 

Eanglafid, Robert, author of the Visions of Pierce Plowman, (See 
that article,) III. 351. Comparison of Langland and Chaucer,, 
37Q. — Their primary equality, 372. — subsequent superiority of 
Chaucer, ibid. — Langland prob^ibly short-lived, ibid. — Their 
I styles, 373.. Langland and Chaucer not acquainted with each 
other, 374. 

Language, the knowledge of any one never perfectly acquired, 
E. 3-36. 

Largesse y origin of this exclamation at the festivals of harvest-home, 
~f. 207. -' 

Eaiimer, lord, prosecuted by the Good Parliament,. III. 71. — Pro- 
ceedings against him reversed, 1.04. See also III. 135, ii;3. 

EatimcT!, Friar ; his information against John of Gaunt, III. 4,1s. 
ijis catastrophe, 422. 

Lcltimer., bishop ; Extract from one of his sermons, I, 171. 

Laiii-i, history of, in the fourteenth century, II. 53. — Civil Law» 
ibid. — Canon law,.j4. — Feudal law, 5.5. — English constitution, 56^ 
Early writers on English law, 5S» Modes of pleading in the 
fourteenth century, 60^ — Contrasted with the modern processes^. 
6i.' — ^Venality of the administration of justice, 62. — attempts for 
its, reformation, 63, 64, Instances of the degradation sf the 
judicial character, 66. — EiFect of such incidents,;^/.;/. Salaries of 
the judges, 67, 333. Statute of treasons (25 Edw. ill.), 6S» 
EiFect of the study of law, upon the character, 70. French 
language abolished in the English lav; proceedings, 225. See also- 
fche article Statute. 

Layamon, an English monk, I. 3 33> 

Ea%ar-bcus€ ; description of, in Milton, imitated from the Visi-ons of 
Pierce Plowman, III. 361, 364. 

Lear, tragedy of, 1 488, IL 255,11!. 33. 

Le Despmser, Hugh, the elder; his iarder, I. 166. 

l^EGENDE 05 Code WoMEisr ; its date, and occasion on whicfe 
written, III.- 233, IV. 43, 70. Is a translation, IJI. 234. Plaa. 
of the poem: dream of Chaucer j vision of good women, 235. — - 
Cupid's displeasure against him, 236. — Alcestis becomes his ad- 
vocate, ibid. — Praise of nineteen ladies, 23S. — names of seventeen 
of these, 239 — their general characteristics, 240. — The subjects. 
taken from Ovid, and other classics; varied in certain particulars,, 
ihid. — Vices of the male sex humorously exaggerated, 241. — • 
Legende of Hypsipyle, 242. — hypocritical behaviour of Hercules, 
24.3. — Poetry of the daisy, 245. — Alcestis, queen of Love,, 255 — - 
iier flower exalted, 257. — poetical exaggeration, 260. See aha 
.II. 72- 
Extracts from, see also in I, 331, III. 257, 27©. 


Leland ; his testimony respecting the period of Chaucer, I, 4 
IV. 147. — Relative to Chaucer's studies at Oxford, I. 414.— Re- 
specting the profession of Gower, II. 13. — his family, 14. — Re- 
specting Chaucer's residence, in France, 40. — his studies in the 
inns of court, 50. — his residence at Donnington, IV. 93. His 
memoirs of Strode, II. 3, 4. His representation of the connection 
of Chaucer and Gower, 19. — Errors in this statement, ao. De- 
ficiencies in his account of Chaucer, 45^ His calumny respecting 
John of Gaunt ; refuted, IV. 63. See also I. 113. 
Extract from his Collectanea, I. 159. 

Leo X., pope, II. 260. 

Leontiui Pilaius, a preceptor of Boccaccio ; his portrait, by Boccaccio, 

I. 426. His character, by Petrarca, 427. His death, 428. 
Limoges; revolt of from the authority of the Black Prince, in 1370, 

II. 384. The Black Prince marches against it ; and takes it by 
storm, 385. — Desperate conflict, 386,. — Generous artifice of John - 
of Gaunt fer the preservation of the bishop, 387. 

Lincoln Castle^ 1. 252. 

Lionel of Aniiverp, (earl of Ulster,) second son of Edward iii., 
II. 126, i3;6, 137,145, 148. Knighted, 146. Created duke of 
Clarence; and appointed lord-lieutenant of Ireland, 225, 226. 
Knight of the Garter, 328. His death, ibid., 405. 

Literature: revival of learning in the twelfth century, J. 23, 323, 
438, II. 260. — its influence upon the church establishments, 
II, 261. — Writers on the Trojan war read at that time, I. 438. — 
popular histories, 24. State of literature in the thirteenth and 
fourteenth centuries, 26, II. 107. — Disadvantages under which it 
laboured, I. 27.— Distinctions bestowed upon learned men in those 
ages, II. 107. Respect paid to genius and literature in the early 
ages of Europe, 88. — Miscellaneous examples, 89. — examples of 
Petrarca and Boccaccio, 90. Ability of princes for rewarding 
merit considered, 98. First examples in modern literature, of 
works of considerable extent the productions of ladies. III. 263. 
See also Poetry ; and Translation. 

Literature in England; introduced by the Romans, I. g. State of, 
at the arrival of St. Augustine, 10. Vicissitudes of, anterior to 
the Conquest, 11. State of, under the Normans, 2i.^In the 
thirteenth and fourteenth centuries : disadvantages under which 
it laboured ; paucity of books, 27. — papal superstition, 28. — dis- 
credit of the Englisii language, 30, 332, 476. Schools in London 
in the middle ages, 32, Decay of Engl sh literature in the 
fifteenth century, 479. Taste in England in the fourteenth cen- 
tury, 484. — Progress of, between the reigns of Edward in. and 
Henry viii., 493. State of poetry after the death of Chaucer, 
498. Literary character of the Plantagcnets, II. 106. — Of Ed- 
ward III., 9r, III. 123. See also Poetrj. 

Litsier, John, a leader of the insuigeits in 1381, III. 20i». 

Livy, I. 37, n. 254. ' ~^ 

Lodbrog. See Regyier Lodbrog. 



Logic ; studied with peculiar success in the thirteenth century, 
I. 320. Estimate of this art, ibid., 321. Its application in the 
courts of law, II. 61. 
Lollards. See Widiffe. 

Lollius, the author of the original of the Troilus and Creseide ; and 
probably of that of the Palamon and Arcite, I. 419, 430, III. 17 
note. Proofs of the existence of this writer, I. 433, 434, III. i?- 
Age in which he flouribhed, I. 437. 
Lollius Urbicus, I. 433. 

London-^ the birth-place of Chaucer, I. 5. State of, in the begin- 
ning of the fourteenth century, 7. Description of, under the 
■Romans, 9. — Unuer the Saxons, 10. — Under the Normans, 12.— 
Under the Plantagenets, 13. Population of, under king Stephen, 
14. — Under Edward iii , 15. — -wealth of its citizens, i6. Plague 
in the year 1349, 15, 402. — Its destructive effects, 16, 403. 
London anciently a principal sejt of learning, 32. — Schools which 
it contained in the twelfth century, ibid. — exercises practised in 
these, 33. — course of education in, 36. Its numerous monastic 
establishments in the time of Ciiaucer, 73. — Religious processions, 
ibid. Theatrical entertainments in the twelfth century, 127. 
Ancient celebration cf Lord-mayor's show, 168. — Of May-day; 
origin of the name of the church called St. Andrew Undershaft, 
169.— ^Setting the Midsuinmer-watch, 171. Ancient exercises 
of the citizens in the practice of archery, 185. Tournament on 
occasion of the marriage of John of Gaunt with the princess 
Blanche, II. 202. Rtjuicings si London on the victory dt Najara 
in 1367, 320. Tumult of the citizens against John of Gaunt in 
^3775 LI. no. — mayor dismissed from his office, 1 1 1 —Recon- 
ciliation with that prince, 126. Proceedings of the insurgents 
under Wat Tyler in 1381, 198 to 206. Tne populace of London 
vigorous defenders of Wicliffe in his persecution, 300. Contention 
respecting the mayoralty in 1384, (See John of Northampton,') 
402. — State of the city at this time, 406. — Hostile conduct of 
Richard 11. toward the citizens, 407. — Sir Robert Knolles 
marches against the citizens ; result of the insurrection, 411, 416. 
State of Charing [Cross], Holborn, and the Strand, in the thir- 
teenth and foijrteenth centuries, I. 14, 15, See also Cbeapsi'de \ 
Sa-voy ; Smitbjield ; Temple ; and Tower. 
London- bridge, I. 12. 
Longinu!, II, 388. 

Lord of Misrule. See Burlesque Festi'vals. 
Lord-mayor^ s Show, ancient grandeur of, I. i63. 
Love; court of, (from the Court of Love,) I. 376, 381. — Statutes of 
Love, (from the same,) 380, 386. Temple, and garden, of Love, 
(from the Parliament of Birds,) IT. 175, 179. — Temple of Venus, 
(from the House of Fame,) HI. 5. Corner in the House of 
Tydinges appropriated to tidings of love, (from the same,) 27. 
Fountain of Love, (from the Romance of the Rose,) II. 249. 
Commandments of Love, (from the same,) 252. Unprosperous 


destiny of true lovers, and prosperous success of the disloyal, 
(from the Complaint of the Black Knight,) III. 178, 

Passion of love and sentiment of loyalty comparpd, III. 163. — 
Love considered on the principles of chivalry, ibid. — Description 
of loyalty, 165. Worship of Venus as Queen of Love, superseded 
among the poets of chivalry by that of Alcestis, 255, 256. 

Love, Courts of. See Parliament of Love. 

Louis XIV., If. 211, 296. 

Lowtlj, oishop ; Extract from his Life of William of Wykeham, 
I. 315. His remarks upon the articles of accusation against 
wykeham, III. 97. See also III. 107. 

Loyalty ; sentiment of, compared with the passion of love, III. 163. 
— Described, 165. 

Lucan, III. 18. 

Luttefworih \ living of, presented to WiclifFe by John of Gaunt, 

in. 41. 

Lydgate, I. 26, 98, 4^0, 497. 
L^nne, friar Nicholas, I. 415. 

Lyons, Richard, prosecuted by the Good Parliament, III. 71. — . 
Proceedings against him reversed, 104. 

MACETTE, ov l'Hypocrisie Deconcerte'e, a poem of 
Regnier, II. 290, 297. Plan of this work, 297. Compared 
with the Roman de la Rose, 298. 

Macrobius, I. 37, II. 172. 

Magic. See Enchantme)it. 

Magna Charta, II. 59, 418. 

Malejici, a Latm name of the minstrels, I. 113. 

Malberbe, a French poet of the sixteenth century, II. 252. Excel- 
lences and defects of his poetry, ibid.y 293. — Satire upon the latter 
by Regnier, 294. — quarrel between these poets, 293 note. 

Malone, Mr., L 497. 

Malverne, John, supposed author of the Visions of Pierce Plowman, 
III. 3;2 note. 

Man of Lawes Tale, II. 32. 

Mandevdle, sir John, I. 476. Extract from, 105. 

Manfred, II. 23S. 

Manicheans, the, III. 48. 

Manning, Robert, a writer of the thirteenth century, I. 333. 

Manny, sir Walter, I. 15, II. 171, III. 17. Accoaipanits the duke 
of Lancaster to Calais in 1369, II 350 His death, 445. 

Manor-bouses of the ancient English, (See Arcbitecturei) I. 250. 

Mapes, Walter, L 59, ilL 266. 

Marcb, eails of. See Mortimer, Roger, and Edmund. 

Marguerite, worship of. See Daisy. Allegorical use of this term 
by Chaucer in the Testament of Love, IV. 38, 39. 

Marie de France, a French writer of the thirteenth century, III. 263, 

Marhiv, 1. 498, 

I N E X 

^aroif a Fininch poet of the sixteenth century, IT. 235, 29*0. 
Marriage of John of Gaunt with the princess Blanche, II. 201.' — ^Hi» 

second marriage, 400 — third marriage, IV. 103, 104. Of the 

Black Prince, II. 302. Of Chaucer, 376. Of Richard 11. with 

Anne of Bohemia, III. 230. — His second marriage, IV. 116. 
Martyrdom^ sentiments respecting. III. 328 to 330. 
Maryy queen of England j pageant exhibited at her marriage, 

I. 174. 
Masquerades '^ fatal accident at one at the court of France in the 

fourteenth century, I, 146. Assassination of Henry iv. of England 

projected by means of one, ibid. 
Mass, celebration of, in the Roman Catholic religion ; its powerful 

effect upon the senses. I. 72. 
Masses for the Dead, ludicrous idea of, I. 74. Intrinsic beamy of the 

practice, ibid. Opposed by WiclitFe, 111. 48. 
Matilda, consort to William i., I. 265, 266. 
Matilda, (cousin 10 John of Gaunt,) duchess "of Bavaria, 11. 1J5 

& note. Her death, 222 & note. 
Matthew Paris; his account of the dream of a villager, I. 132. — of a 

remarkable robbery and its consequences, 195, See also I. 269, 


Maud, duchess of Bavaria. See Matilda. 

May-day ; ancient celebration of, in London, I. 169. Called alse 
Robin Hood's day, 171. 

Mtnoiider, I. 1 19. 

Mendicants. See Friars. 

Mercer, John, a Scotch pirate, I. 18. 

Merlin, II. 269. 

Merton College, Oxford, II. 14, 15. 

Metallic Arts ; state of, in the early ages, I. 261. Present state of 
similar arts among the Moors, 264 note. State of, in England, in 
the middle ages, 269 to 271. 

Michel Agholo, 1.277. 

Midsummer Watch ; ceremony of setting this watch, an ancient 
English festival, I. 171. 

Mignardises, shorter and more airy classes of poetry 5 time of their 
origin, III. 264, 267/ 

MiLLEREs Tale, II. 500, IV. 187. 

Milton, I. 346, 358, 392, 41 1> 470, TI- 507) IV. 11, 13. 192- 

Mimus, a Latin nai^e of the mmstrels, I. in, 116, 121. 

Minstrels : antiquity of the character, I. 51. Their performances a 
branch of the religion of the ancient Britons, ibid. — Become more 
interesting after this connection was dissolved, 5:. Esteem in 
which they were held by our ancestors, 53. State of the minstrels - 
in the time of Chaucer, tbtd. — Constituted a principal source of 
the amusements of that period, 88. Successive revolutions of the 
minstrel profession, Hid. — The bard, 89. — The scald, ibid. — 
The gleeman, 91. Separation of the character of poet from tiiat 
of the reciter of verses, 93. Occupations an-d arts cultivated by 


the minstrels in tWs state^ I. 94. — i, Instrumental music, 9S.-« 
II, Singing, ibid. — extract of a charter of Edward iv. to this 
purpose, 96. — excellence of their songs, /li/V/.— enumeration of 
several of the heroes of these, 97. — III, Dancing, 98. — i v. Tum- 
bling, 99. — V, Jesting, ibid. — VI, Legerdemain, 100.— vii, En* 
thantment, 103. — viii, Prophecy and the science of drugs, 1070 
' The minstrels a numei-ous body of men, 108.— curious example of 
this, ibid. — Formed into corporations or guilds, no. Courc 
minstrels formerly in England, /j?"/^. Variety of names by which 
the minstrels were designated, iii. — Enumeration of many of 
these, ibid, to 123. The minstrels our first dramatists, (See 
Theatre,') 115. Ceremony of a king of France dining in public, 
. 143. Employment of the minstrels at tournaments, 206. See 
, also Music. 

Miracle Plays ; distinction between these and the Mysteries, I. ijf. 
The earliest on record, 123. Policy of the clergy in the culti- 
vation of sacred dramas, ibid. These exhibitions not dangerous to 
the religious notions then established, 126. Very common in the 
twelfth and thirteenth centuries, 127. — Proved by passages froia 
writers of the time, ibid. Definition of^ »33. 
Mkroir des Justices, II. 60, I. 160. 
Monastic Establishments-^ multitude of, ih the time of Cliaucer^ 

I. 72. 
Money ; comparative value of, in the fourteenth century and at pre» 
sent, II. 329, 330. Pecuniary gratuities granted by Edward lir., 
(See also P^'Ki/sw,) 331, 331. Dower of Joan, wife to David 
Bruce, 334, 335 note. Income of queen Philippa, 335. Wealth of 
John of Gaunt,/^/^., 337, 223, 224. — Of Thomas, earl of Lancaster,. 
338. Ransom of Bruce, 336. — Of John, king of France, ibid. 
Revenue of the crown in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries* 
ibid, — Salaries of the judges, 67, 333. Price of wine in England 
in 1 199, 487. — In the fourteenth century, I. 166. — in 1383, 
U. 489. ^ 
Monks \ their manners, in their convents, I. 130. — Curious story oa 
this subject, ibid. Distinction of, from friars, 304. Prosperity 
of the monastic orders, ibid, — Consequent discredit into which 
they fell, 305. — rise of the mendicants, (See Friars,) 306. 
Monks, Nuns, and Friars ; Extract from the Court of Love, on their 

condition, I. 382. 
Mofitacate, (Montagu,) William, afterward earl of Salisbury, effects 
the overthrow of Roger Mortimer, 1. 249. — His pension for this 
service, 11. 334, 337. 

Wilham, earl of Salisbury^ his son, III. 37, 115. 
Mo?itaigne, II. 29-1. 

Moniford, (Montfort,) Simon, earl of Leicester, I. 2 52,. III. 47 
Montfori, Johnrf'f, duke of Britanny, III. 140, I4r. 
Montfort, Janedc, her heroism, II. 114. 
Montpaon, affair of, II. 396. 
Mntimert Roger, earl of March^I. 248, IV. 63, 64, 65^ 134. 


Moriimer, Edmund, earl of March, III. 62, 67, 83, 94, 121, ijg* 

Mortmain, statute of, II. 413. 

Mowbray, Thomas, duke of Norfolk ; his quarrel with Kenry of 
Bolingbroke, IV. 121 to 125. 

Murphy, Arthur, XL 99. 

Music: state of profane music under the Saxons, I. 2B5. Hyperbo- 
Jical celebration of the power of music, from the song of a Runic 
bard, 286. Sacred music, (See Cburch-Mfsic,') 287. Musical 
discoveries in the eleventh century, 288. — Effect of these disco- 
veries, 289. — singing in parts, 292 — Slowness with which they 
were received ; by the minstrels, 293. — in the church, ibid. In- 
struments of music, 294. — In the fourteenth century, 295. 
Chaucer a lover of music, ibiri. 

Mysteries; definition of, I. 123, 134. The earliest on record, 134. 
Chester Mysteries, 135,137. Mystery performed at Cambridge, 
135. Coventry Mysteries, ibid. French Mysteries, 136. Sup- 
posed importance of these exhibitions, ibid. One performed be- 
fore a general council, 137. Improvement of these representa- 
tions, about the end of the fourteenth century, 13S. Performed 
by boys, 139. — By the society of parish-clerks, ibid.—tht latter a 
proof of increasing refinement in society, 140. Inference from the 
silence of Chaucer respecting these entertainments, 142. See also 
Miracle Plays. 

mjARA, battle of, II. 318. 

Nero, I. 118. 

Neville, John lord, of Raby ; prosecuted by the Good Parliament, 

III. 71. 

Neville's Cross, battle at, II. 115, 150. 

New Forest ; formation of, by William the Conqueror, I. 178.— 

Stow's account of, ibid. — this account questioned, 179 note. 
Nifie Worthies ; names of, I. 169 note. 
NovNES Preestes Tale, (Story of the Cock and the Fox,) 

IV. 75, 18S. 

Normans; their character, I. 56, 226. The fathers of modern 
poetry, 57. Improvement of religious architecture in England 
under them. 220. — Their attachment to this pursuit, 224. — the 
inventors of the Latter Gothic style, 226. 

Northumbtrland, earl of. See Fercj, lord. 

Nostradamus, II. 269. 

Nottingham Castle, I. 24S. 

OAK, Chaucer's, at Donnington, IV. 95 to 102;. 

Occam, Wiiiiam, I. 309, 315, 418, II. 267. 

Old-lVcman, discourse of, in the Roman de la Rose; a satire upon 
women, II. 285. Plan of the satire; former life of the Old- 
woman, 286.— Henkssons upon rapaciousness, 2S7. — simile from 


the poem, II. z88, 189. — And upon the conduct of an amour, 190. 

This discourse imitated by Regnier, i^/'^., 297. — -Comparison, 298. 

Not in Chaucer's translation, ibid. 
Opus Anglicum, I. 263. 
Ordeal, trial by, I. 50, TI. 52. 

Organs ; mvention of, and first admission into churches, I. 294, 495^ 
Orlando. See Roland. 
Orlando Furioso, compared with the Canterbury Tales, IV. 88. 

S'} .r,gcdi=s of, 1.488. 

O'uid, I. 37, II. 165, 252, III. 5, 14, 17, 178, 240, IV. X4, 41. 

Oxford; rise of this university, I. 300, 302. Its subsequent de- 
cline, 303. Its condition in the time of Chaucer, ibid, 313. 
Question whe'-her Chaucer studied here, 414. This university 
favours VViciifFe in his doctrines. III. 299. — but some of the 
heads oppose him, on his raising the controversy of the real pre- 
sence, 307, 3 10.— Archbishop Courteney undertakes to purge the 
university, 323 — is opposco by the chancellor; but forces him to 
submit, 324. — demands a recantation from the heretical profes- 
sors, ibid. — Letters patent against heresy; VViciifFe is expelled the 
university, 325. — convocation of St. Fridesvvide, 326. See also 
Universities of England. 

PAGANUS DE RouET, father of Chaucer's wife, II. 197, 19S, 

Pageants; dates of three remarkable, in England, I. 131. Nature 
of these exhibitions illustrattd, 132. Royal pageants ; at the mar- 
riage of Philip and Mary, 174. — At the coronation of Elizabeth, 

Pages; the first step in the education of chivalry, II. 131. They 

were brought up in companies, ibid. — Were inspired with emula- 
tion, ibid. — Were held in active exercise, 132. — Were impressed 
with sentiments of modesty and reverence, ibid. — and with feel- 
ings of passionate respect to the female sex, 133. — Were taught 
each of them to select in that sex the particular object of his atten- 
tion, ibid. See further Esquires. 
Painting: in England, under the Normans, I. 265. — Ceilings of 
cathedrals and churches, ibid. — Portraits, ibid. — story on this sub- 
ject in the eleventh century, 266, Employment of pictures in 
the preaching of the crusade, 267. Art of illuminating, 26S, 102. 
State of painting in the reign of Henry 11 t., 273. — Use of oil co- 
lours known at this period, 274. Paintings and ornaments dis- 
covered in St. Stephen's Chapel during the recent alterations, 27S, 
279. — Account of some which were least damaged, 280. — whole 
length portraits, 28 1 — ludicrous representations, ibid. — Defects 
oi these performances, 282. — They were finished in oil, ibid. 
Whole length of Richard 11. in the Jerusalem Chamber, 283, III. 
170. See also the &xi\t[Q Sculpture and Painting. 


Palaces. Sec Architecture. 

Palamon and Arcite, Chaucer's poem of; question from 
what source taken, I. 436, Its date, II. 72, 177. Abridged in 
the Canterbury Tales, (See Knightes Tale,) 72. Its un- 
prosperous fate, 76. See also I. 340, 429, 111. 237. 

Takstrita, a Latin name of the minstrels, 1. 113. 

Pampeluna, bishop of. III. 37. 

Fantomime, the offspring of a regned state of the drama, 1. 149. 

Papal Superstition, its effects upon Ut^ratuie In the middle ages, 
I. 28. 

Paradise Lost, I, 412. I^- 3i7> HI. 361, 364. 

Parfre, John, I. 138. 

PariSi Petrarca's character of, in the fourteenth century, I. 7. Pro- 
sperous condition of the university in the twelfth and thirteenth 
centuries, 302, 347. — Question of Chaucer's residence at, consi- 
dered, II. 40. — Resort of Englishmen to the university in thfe 
thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, 43. — State of the university 
in the middle of the fourteenth century, 49. — Its opposition to the 
establishment of the mendicant ordetb, (Ste IVilliamdt St. Amour,) 
167. Siege of Paris formed by the Enghsh army in 1359, 212. 
Punishment of the Parisians by Charles vi. for aa insurrection, 

III. 390- 

Pans Garden, (a bear-g-rden in London,) I. 192. 

Partsb-derks, formed into a corporation in the thirteenth century, J. 
140. — Eminence of this society, ibid. Were the performers ot sa- 
cred dramas in the fourteenth centuiy, 139, 141. 

Pailiament. See Commons: and also ttie arxides Good Parliament i 
and Wonder -luorktng Parliament. 

Parliament of Birds; outline of Chaucer's poem of, II. i6§. 
Its date, 169. Impressions under which it was written, 170, 
Plan of the poem, x'-^z.—Somnium ; dream of the younger 
Scipio, /'Z/z^.r-Chaucer's studious propensities, 173, 183.-— 
Original of a passage in Shakespear, 174. — Temple and Gar- 
den of Love, 175. — an imitation of Boccaccio, 176. — Convccatioa 
of fowls, 179. — The allegory, 180. — The heroine and her suit- 
ors, 181. — Conclusion, 183. indelicacies of this poem, 177. Mr. 
Tyrwhit's opinion respecting its relative date, refuted, /i^/o'. Ine- 
quality of the work, 178. Connection of this piece with the 
poem entitled Chaucer's Dream and with the Book of the Duchess, 
366. — Proved from the history of the courtship of John of Gaunt, 
ibid. — from the particulars related in them of the history of 
Chaucer, 368. Ste also 1. 184, III. 237, IV. 181, 191. 
Extracts from, also in II. 101, 193. 

Parliaments (or Courts') of Love ; a French institution, of the twelfth 
century, I. 347. Their origin, and composition, /i/<^., 34S. Their 
nattrfe misapprehended by some modern writers, 348, 349 note. 
Examples ot their sentences, 348. Solemnity of their decisions, 
349. Forms of their proceedings, v^/V. 


Pastouyelle, (^or Bargaret ;') origin and definition of this species of 

poetry, III. 264, 267, 269, 270. 
Patient Grisilde, story of, I. 148, 435. — In Chaucer, (See Clerk 

OF OxENFORDEs Tale,) II. 463. ^t& z\so Decufnerone. 
Paulus Jovius, II. 211. 
Peace of the King, what, I. 46. 
Pembroke, earl of, II. 3-86, 446. 

Pension; Chaucer's first, II. 328. — Its value, 329. — Other pensions 
granted by Edward iii., 331. — to the court-physician, tbid. — to 
the maids of honour, 332, 374. — to Montagu, afterward earl of 
Salisbury, 334, 337. — to sir Edward Montagu ; Robert of Artois ; 
and the duke of Brabant, 334. — to Baliol, ibid., 337. Supposed 
grant to Chaucer, of the year 137 1, 512, 516. Pensions of Chaucer 
in the reign of Richard 11., III. 143. — He sells his pensions, IV. 
30. — again obtains one, 91. Pension of 20 /. per a«««/« granted to 
the earl of Somerset, as the appendage to his title, 10^ note. Fur- 
ther pension to Chaucer, 148. 
Pe/>in, king, I. 295. 

Percy, lord; appointed earl marshal by John of Gaunt, III. 95. 
Created earl of Northumberland on the accession of Richard 11., 
JiS. Resigns his staff of marshal on the retirement of John ot 
Gaunt, 119. His quarrel with that prince, 215, 217. — Prosecu- 
tion of their quarrel ; reconciliation, 225. See also III. 83, 84, 
108, 109. 
Percy, sir Thomas, IV. 58. 
Pericles, Shakespear's play of, II. 38. 

Perrers, Alice; history of, 111. 75. Parliamentary proceedings 
against her, 77. — Charges exhibited,, 80. — Motives of the prose- 
cution, 81. — These proceedings re.versed, 104. See also III. 
121, 136. t 

Persones Tale, III. 345. 

Peter {the Cntel), king of Castille and Leon; visits the Black Prince 
• at Bourdeaux, II 306. His character; and history of his reign, 
308. — Ambitious views of Henry of Transtamare, 309. — he goes 
into exile, 310. — his cabals, ibid.— \\t obtains the crown, 312. 
Favourable reception of Peter at Bourdeaux, ibid. Views of the 
Black Prince in his behalf, 313 — He undertakes his rsstoration, 
314. The Black Prince begins his march, 315. — Passes the Py- 
renees, 316. — Enters the kingdom of Castille, 317. — Battle of 
Najara, 318. — result of this battle ; restoration of Peter, 321. — 
his subsequent hypocritical behaviour to the English, 322. Death 
of Peter : John of Gaunt marries his heiress, and assumes the title 
of king of Castille, 399, 400. 
Peter, king of Cyprus, I. 17, II. 229, 306. Robbed while on a visit 

to England, I. 197. ^ 

Peter of Blois, I. 14, 23, 300, 301, II. 260. 
Peter's Pence abolished in England, II. 424. 

Petrarta ; his account of Paris in his own time, I. 7« His character, 
360.— His admiration of the ancients, 361.— One of the eldest re- 



storers of learning, 1.361,425. — His points of excellence, 361.-— 
His passion for Laura, 362. — His amatory and other composi- 
tions, 363. — Classical refinements of his taste, ibid, — His sensibi- 
lity, 365. Crowned in the Capitol, 366. His friendship with 
Boccaccio, 425. His opinion of the Roman de la Rose, II. 233. 
Translates the story of Patient Gri&ildis into Latin, from the De- 
camerone, 464. Interview with Chaucer at Padua, 467. — Feel- 
ings of Chaucer on this occasion, ibid. — of Petrarca, 468. — He 
reads to Chaucer his tale of Patient Grisildis, 469. — Tone of 
their conversation, 470. — Chaucer requests a copy of the tale, 471. 
—he is introduced by Petrarca to an acquaintance with the works 
of Boccaccio, 472. The visit of Chaucer not mentioned by Pe^ 
trarca nor his biographers, 474.- — Silence of Petrarca accounted 
for, ibid. — of his Italian biographers, 476. — Language of De Sade 
on the subject, 477. — Conclusion, 478. See also I. 356,420, II. 
90, 108, IIL 33. 

Philip de Falois, I. 213, 11. 48. 

Thilippa, queen to Edward ill., II. in, 115, III. 273, IV, 169. 
Defeats the Scotch, and takes their king prisoner, II. 115. Saves 
the lives of the six burgesses at the siege of Calais, 1 16. Her in- 
come, II. 335. Herdeath, 354. 

Thilippa, queen of Portugal, II, 198. 

Pbilippa of Lancaster, eldest daughter of John of Gaunt, married to 
John king of Portugal, IV. 59. 

Pbilippa, wife of Chaucer. See Pycard, Philippa. 

■Philosophy, Aristotelian, I. 24, 317, 323, II. 260. Chaucer's prin- 
ciples of, in. 8. 

Pbilpot, John, citizen of London, takes a fleet of pirates by his own 
exertions, I. 18. See also III. 139, 206, 416. 

Picard, Henry, mayor of London, gives an entertainment to four 
kings, I. 17. See also II. 229, III. 416. 

Piers Alfonse, I. 25, IV. 76. 

Pilgrimes "tale. III. 344. 

Pits ; his memoirs of Strode, II. 5 to 14. Example of his inaccu- 
racy, 2. 

Plague in the year 1349, I. 15, 40Z. Its destructive ravages in 
England, 403. — In Florence, 404. — Its moral effects during the 
period of its sway, 406. Compared with the plague of Athens, 
407. Irs consequences, 408. General effects of such a calamity, 
411. Institution of the order of the Garter, 412. Decamerone, 

Plautus, I. iig. 

Plays : Profane ; and Sacred. See Theatre. 
Plowmans Crede, III. 346. Its versification, 375. Not written by 

the same author as the Plowmans Tale, 376. 
Plowmans Tale, III. 344. Its versification, 375. See preceding 

Poetry: character of the Saxon, Danish, and Norman, poets, I. 54 

to 56. Points of attention in judging of ancient poetry, 163. 


Disadvantages of writing poetry in a dead or foreign language, 
1.335. Chaucer's eulogium, 341. Pcets on the continent pre- 
vious to Chaucer, 342. — Writers of romance, ibid. — Romance 
and Provencjal languages, 343. — Parliaments of Love, 347. — /\o- 
man de la Rose, 351, II. 230. Allegory coasidered, as a style of 
poetry, I. 353. Character of the French poets of the seventeenth 
and eighteenth centuries, 354. Rise of Italian poetry, 356. — 
Character of Dante, 357. — distinguishing feature of the poet, 
from the cultivator of science, ibid. — Character of Petrarca, 360. 
— Petrarca crowned in the Capitol, 366. Versification of Chau- 
cer's poem of the Court of Love : Chaucer the introducer of this 
measure (Rhythm royal) into the English language, 373 to 375. 
Chaucer and Spenser compared, 377, 378, II. 377, III. 34. 
— Estimate and specimen of Chaucer's descriptive powers, I. 
377» 378> III. i!^2, 183, 184. Ancient ond modern English 
poetry compared, I. 391. — Genuine English poets, 302. Poetry 
the associate of the earlier stages of literature, 393. Versificatioa 
of Chaucer, 395, III. 365, 366. Study of the old English poets 
recommended, I. 395. Versification of the old French poetry, 
397. Epic poetry delineated, 470. Two ways in which a poem 
may be judged, 475, (see also IV. 196 to 200.) Law of po- 
etical justice examined, I. 488. Comparison of Henryson and 
Chaucer, 493. Poetry in England after the death of Chaucer, 
498. Chaucer and Shakespear compared, 501. Peculiar excel- 
lence ©f Shakespear, 505, 509, 510. Homer and Shakespear com- 
pared, 509. Causes of the. excellence of Shakespear's characters, 
511. Poetical emulation, II. 37. The study of law dangerous to 
the character of the poet, 71. Sonnet by John of Gaunt, 164. 
Chaucer the poet of peace, 220. Difference of a poetical and a 
prose language, 241. Character of the romances of chivalry, 243, 
253. Character of the poetry of William de Lorris, 253 to 256. 
French poetry of the sixteenth century, 290. — Marot, Ronsard, 
Du Bellay, and Du Bartas, ibid., 291. — Malherbe, 292. ^-Reg- 
nier, 296. Interview of Chaucer and Petrarca, 467. Imputed 
connection between wine and poetry, 493. Taste for allegorical 
writing in the time of Chaucer, III. 162,181. Formation of the 
character of a poet, 211. Poetry of the daisy, in the fourteenth 
century, (See Daisy,) 245, Poetry of the reign of Charles V. of 
France, 263. Origin of the shorter and more airy classes of 
poetry, 265. — Song, ibid. — Sonnet, 266. — Chant-royal, 267.— 
Balade, 268. — Rondeau, ibid. — Pastourelle, 2(19. — References to 
these cl'sses of poetry in the writings of Chaucer, ibid. — Vireiay, 
271. — William de Machaut, 273, Poeir.s tending to promote the 
cause of ecclesiastical refcrmation in England, 343. Versification 
of the Visions of Pierce Plowman, 364. — its alliteration, — 
its anaoestic measure, 366, — Comparison of Langland and Chau- 
cer, 370, 372, — Allegorical style of the Visions of Pierce Plow- 
n^aij 373. Versification of the Plowmans Crede, 375. — Of the 
Plowmans Tale, ibid. Canterbury Tales compared with the Or- 

I N D EX. 

lando Furioso, and with the Decamerone, IV. 87, 89. Principal 
schools of modern poetry: the romantic ; the burlesqae, 189. — 

' the natural ; the allegorical, 190. — Reflux of taste in the ages 
subsequent to Chaucer, 191. Merits of the romantic style con- 
trasted with those of the burlesque, 193. — The natural style re- 
stored by Shakespear, 194. Rank to which Chaucer as a poet be- 
longs, considered, 196. See also the anicks Minstrels ; and Ro- 

Poitiers, battle of, I. 184,401, II. 317, 456. — Its effects upon the 
Enghsh nation, II. 121. 

Policraticus, De Nugis Curialium, a treatise of John of Salisbury ; 
Extracts from, I. 1x7, 120. 

Poll-tax in the year 1380, III. 190. Insurrection to which it gave ' 
birth, igj. ' 

Font efr act Castle, TI. 223, IV. 152. 

P&^(f, I. 392. His Temple of Fame, III. 35. 

Portraits, ^te Painting. Portrait of Richard n. in the Jerusalem 
Chamber, I. 283, III. 170. 

Prastigiatores, a Latin name of the minstrels, 1. 113. 

Premumre, statute of, II. 419, 420. 

Prior, II. 88, 99. 

Pii'vate luar ; practice of, in the middle ages, I. 45. 

Pri%e-fighiing, or the Science of Defence ; a favourite diversion of - 
the ancient English, I. 187. The professors of, incorporated by 
royal patent, 188. Degrees taken in this science, ibid. Speci- 
men of the style of defiance and rejoinder, 189. 

Pronan, sir James, a colleague of Chaucer in his embassy to Genoa, 

II. 460, 461. 

Provencal ; question of the seniority of this, or the Romance, lan- 
guage, I. 343.— Of the comparative merits of their poets, 344, 
346. Chaucer's House of Fame not taken from a Provencal poem, 

III. 33. 

Provisions, papal, (See Ecclesiastical History,') II. 410,480. 

Pro-visrirs, statute of, 11.416,418, 420. 

Pula, IV. 192. 

Purgatory, doctrine of; its eflfects upon the character, I. 82. 

PycarJ, Catherine, sister to Chaucer's wife. See Siuiaford, Ca- 

Pycard, Philippa, afterward wife to Chaucer ; her station and qua- 
lity, II. 197, 332, 374. His courtship and marriage, 191 to 195, 
37i> 375> 376. Accompanies her husband in his exile, IV. 5. 
See also IV. 6 7iote. 


RACINE, II. ill. 
Rajxii'le, I. 277* 


Rape of Lucrece ; Shakespear's poem of, I. 499. 

Ratby, Leicestershire ; anecdote of John of Gaunt, connected witK 
the history of this place, III. 337. 

Ravenna, archbishop of, III. 37. 

Raymond Lully, If. 89. 

Regner Lodbrog, a scald of the north, I. 90, 285. 

Regnier, a French poet of the sixteenth century, II. 235, 284, 290,. 
296. His quarrel with Malherbe, 293 >wie. His poem of Ma:- 
ce/te, 290, 297, 298. 
Extract from one of his Satires, II. 294. — Translated, 295, 

Religion is nothing, abstracted from sentiment and feeling, J. 70, 
III. 53, 54, 317. Its mutual connection with cheerfulness, I. 87. 
The devotion, not illustrative of the peculiar manners, of a pe- 
riod, 237. Sentiments respecting martyrdom. III. 32S to 330. 
Character and first eiFects of religious reformation, 332 to 334, 
See also Roman Catholic Religion- 

Repyndon, Dr. Philip; an adherent, and afterward an opposer, of 
the doctrines of Wiciiffe, III. 325,327. 

Reservations, papal, (See Ecclesiastical History,^ 11. 410, 480. 

Reson and Sensualite, a poem of Lydgate ; Extracts from, I. 98. 

Retainers ; introduction of, on the decline of the feudal system. III. 
1 95. Nature of this institution, ibid. — Its effects, 196. 

Reves Tale, II. 500, IV. 187. 

Reviewers, HI. 4. 

Rheims ; siege of, by the English in 1359, II. 2ir. 

Rhythm Royal ; this species of versification introduced into English 
poetry by Chaucer, I. 374, II. 172. 

Richard i., I. no, II. 89, ill. 266. 

Richard 11.; born, II. 340. Created prince of Wales, Til. loi. 
Dines in public with the king his grandfather at Christmas, 102. 
Proposal for his marriage with a French princess; fails, 114. 
Death of Edward ill.; accession of Richard, 121, 125. Pro- 
ceedings of John of Gaunt, 126. Coronation, 127. Retirement 
of John of Gaunt, 128. — His loyalty and attachment to Richard, 
133.— His retirement condemned, 134. Council of regency, 135, 
Parliament; their proceedings, 136. Second council of regency, 
ibid. War with France, 137. — Ravages committed by the enemy 
upon the coasts, 138. — John of Gaunt comnaander in chief, ibid. — 
Cherburgh and Brest placed in the hands of the English, 139. — 
First campaign, 141. John of Gaunt complains of the commons, 
149, Affair of Hawley and Shakel, 150.: — Result of this affair, 
154. ^tzx-nitoi scanddlum nTifg'!atu7n^ i^<^. Attachment of John 
of Gaunt to the king, 168. — Youth and sacred character of 
Richard, ibid., 169. — his beautiful person and prepossessing 
manners, 170. Progress of the war; escheat of the duchy of 
Britanny, 1S5. — De Mjntfort recalled by his subjects, ibid. — 
campaign of the earl of Buckingham, i85. — De Montfort deserts 
the English alliance, 187. John of Gaunt sent against the Scots, 
189. Council of regency discharged, (f^;rt'. Poll-tax, 19c. State 


of society in Europe at this time, III. 191 to 196. Insurrection of the 
common people, 197. — The insurgents at Blackheath, 198. — they* 
enter London, ibid. — their excesses, 199. — they murder the lord 
treasurer and the archbishop of Canteroury, 200.- — their leaders : 
Wat Tyler ; John Litster, ibid., 201. — their rigorous police, 201. 
— their energetic lessons of equality : John Ball, ibid. — Behaviour 
of Richard, 202. — Conference in Smithfield, ibid. — altercation, 
404. — Tyler slain, ibid. — Speech of the king, 205. — he is rescued^ 
ibid.- — Punishment of the rebels, 206. — Atrocities of Tyler and his 
associares, 207. Qi^arrel of John of Gaunt with the earl of 
Northuoiberland, 2 1 5 to 225.— a parliament called : Reconciliation 
of those noblemen, 225. Expedition of the earl of Cambridge 
into Spain, 226. Marriage of Richard, 230. — Character of Anne 
of Bohemia, his queen, 231. — Prosperous situation of the young 
king, ibid. Richard assumes the government, 277, 279 — His 
early character, 279. — his affectionate temper, ibid. — imbecility of 
his disposition, 281. — Advantages with which he began his career, 
282. — His education, ibid. His confidential ministers ; sir Simon 
Burley, Vere earl of Oxford, and sir Michael de la Pole, 283, 286, 
287. — Their offensive proceedings, 289.— Their pernicious 
counsels, 290. Prodigaliry of the youthful monarch, 292. — Situa- 
tion of John of Gaunt ; animosity of the king's favourites against 
him, 293, 296. State of France in the minority of Charles vi., 
378. Warlike projects of the English government, 380. — John 
of Gaunt proposes an expedition into Spain, 382. — Proposal of 
Spencer, bishop of Norwich, ibid.,: — Policy of the war, ibid, — 
State of Spain, 383. — of Flanders, 385, — Crusade of Henry 
Spencer; his successes, 391, 392. Richard challenges the king of 
France, 393. Renewal of the Scottish truce, 394. Miscarriage 
of Spencer's expedition ; truce with France, 396, 397. Critical 
age of Richard at this period, 398. Projects of the courtiers, 399. 
-'—Their competitors ; the king's uncles, 400. Contention re- 
specting the mayoralty of London, 402. — State of the city at this 
time, 406. — hostile conduct of Richard toward its citizens, 407, 
John of Gaunt marches against the Scots, 417. Parliament at 
Salisbury, ibid. Information of Friar Latimer, 418. — Communi- 
cated to John of Gaunt ; his defence, 419. — Resentment of 
Thomas of Woodstock, 421. John of Gaunt employed in France, 
425. Furtlier conspiracy against John of Gaunt, 426. — mediation 
of the king's mother; reconciliation of that prince with the king, 
429, 430. — Consequences of these proceedings, 430. Suspension 
of the royal authority, IV. 17. Convulsive state of England at 
this time; Richard leaves the metropolis, 24, 25. — Returns, 25, 
Assembly of the Wonder-working Parliament, 26. Restoration 
of Richard, 44. Spanish expedition of John of Gaunt, 58. — Its 
results, 60, 6 1 . Death of the quten ; second marriage of Richard, 
102 note, 116. Truce with France for thirty years, 117. Con- 
spiracy of Thomas of Woodstccki 118. — Punishm.ent of conspi- 
rators, /3/</. ^assassination of their leader, 119, (11.28,) Quarreldf 


Henry of BoHngbroke and Thomas Mowbray, duke of Norfolk, 
IV. 121. — Lists at Coventry, 114. — both the combatants ordered 
into banishment, 125. Death of John of Gaunt, 126. — His 
estates confifcated to the crown, 133. The king goes into Ire- 
land, 134. Henry of BoHngbroke lands in England, 135, 136. — 
His success ; he puts to death the favourites of Richard, 137, 138. 
Richard returns : is taken prisoner ; and deposed, 138. His 
death, 151, 152, II. 29. 

Question of his encouragement of Gower, II. 24. Whole 
length portrait of Richard, in the Jerusalem Chamber, I. 283, 
III. 170, See also I. 340, II. 90, 108, III. 62, 88, 103. For 
the ecclesiastical history of this reign, See Wuliffe. 
BJchard, abbot of St. Albans, I. 269. 
Richard sans peur, romance of, I. 6 1 . 
Richardson, IV. 195. 
Rigge, Dr. Robert, chancellor of Oxford ; opposes the measures of 

archbishop Courteney against that university, III. 324. 
Rime of Sirk Thopas, I. 39, IV. 190. 

Robbery, public; ancient practice of, in England, I. 194. Re.*' 
markable instance of, in the thirteenth century, 195. Robin 
Hood and his outlaws, 197. Instance of one in the fourteenth 
century, committed upon a foreign sovereign, ibid. 
Robert, king of Naples, I. 367, II. 89. 
Robert, abbot of St. Albans, I. 269, 270. 
Robert of Artois; his pension, II. 334. 
Robert de Clermont, mareschal of Normandy, II. 124, 
Robert le diable, romance of, I. 61. 
Robert of Gloucester, I. 333. 
Robert de Holland, I. 249. 
Robert Stuart, king of Scotland, III. 224. 
Robin Hood, I. 186, 195, 197. A principal character in the ancient 

celebration of May-day, 170. 
Rochester Castle, I. 247. 
Rodez, bishop of; urges the B'ack Prince to impose the tax of hearth* 

money in Aquitaine, II. 343. 
Rodrigo Dias, the Cid, II. 404. 

Roland, II. 316. Song of, I. 343.-^SUng by a soldier on an im- 
portant occasion, 58. 
Rollo, first duke of Normandy, I. 61. 

Roman Catholic Religion : predominance and character of this re- 
ligion in the eleventh century, I. 65. — Its decline; 67. — state of 
the papal power in the tune of Chaucer, 69. Its policy in ad- 
dressing the senses, ibid. — Religious edifices, processions, and 
forms of worship, 71. — monasteries and convents in the time of 
Chaucer, 72- — Masses for the dead, 74. — Auricular confession, 
76.-- -Days of abstinence, 78. — Extreme unction, 79. — spirit of 
this religion on the subject of preparation for death, 80. — effect of 
this doctrine, 82. — Period of the first confession, 83. — Festival of 
the first communion, 86. — Confirmation, 87, — Worship of images. 


-• 1.159. Monks and friars, (See those articles,) 304. Effects of the 
revival of learning upon the church estabLishments, II. 261. 
Contrast or this religion with that of the New Testament, III. 304. 
The doctrine of transubstantiation the corner-stone of this reli- 
gion, 308. See also Clergy ; and Ecclesiastical History 
Roman de la Rose, 3. poem of the thirteenth century, I. 61, 351. Its 
authors, Wi'liam de Lorris and John de Meun, (See their 
- articles,) 351, 352, ]I. 235. Merits of the poem, II. 230. Its 
story, 1.353. Its style, ibid. Petrarca's opinion of it, 11,233. 
Its extensive popularity, 234. Time when it was written, 237. — 
Correcrinn in its chronology, 238,239. Examination of the poem, 

230. Discourse of the Old-Woman, 285. Translation of this 

poem by Chaucer ; See Romance of the Rose. See also 
III. 2, 343- 
Romance the offspring of chivalry, I. 40. Definition of romance, 
50, .60. Its origin, 51. Much improved by the introduction of 
Christianity, 53. Character of the Saxon, Danish, and Norman, 
poets, 54. Features of the old romance, 57. — Its rise, 58. Prin- 
cipal founders of the regular romance, ibid. — Their favourite 
themes, 6 I. — Plan and genius of the romances, 62. Early writers 
of romance, 342. Norman or Romance language; question of the 
seniority of this or the Provencal, 343. — Of the comparative 
merits of their poets, ibid. — Superiority of those of the former, 
ilpul, — causes of this superiority, 346. Fabliaux; fableours, 345, 
II. 2^3. List of several popular romances in the time of Chau- 
cer, I. 39. — The earliest now extant the production of the twelfth 
century, 40. Character of the romances of chivalry, II. 243. 
The romantic style of poetry, IV. 189. — Its merits, 193. — Con- 
trasted v/ith thrs^ of the burlesque, ibid. 
Romance OF the Rose, a poem translated by Chaucer, (See 
Roman de la Rose,) 11. 230. Merits of the original poem, /^/^/. 
Pet iod of Chaucer's translation, 231. Examination of the poem, 
23g. — Its fable, ibid. — Allegorical personages, 240. — Language, 
241. — I:s relative excellence, 242.— Imagination and manners, 243. 
— Description of spring, 2/1-4. — Character of Chaucer's translation, 
246..— Garden of Mirth ; iis walls, ibid. — allegorical figures, 247. 
— Old A^e ; description of, 24S. — inhabitants of the Garden of 
Mirth, ibid. — Fountain of Love, 249. — The Rose, 251 — com- 
jTienceinent of the passion, ibid. — Commandments of Love, 252. 
William de Lorris ; character of his part of the poem, 256. — Of 
that of John de Meun, 258. Examination of the poem continued : 
False-semblant ; satire upon the mendicant friars, 259. — History 
of the mendicant orders. (See Friars,) ibid. — Ei'angelium ^ter~ 
wtm, 268. — Stj Amour, De Periculis Novissimorum Temporum, 274. 
— Accusations against the mendicants, ibid. — extracts from the 
poem, 276, 277. Gerson's censure of the J?o»7rt;; ^/(f Za i?oj^, 281. 

Motives of this censure, 282. Satire upon women introduced 

into the original poem, 284. — Not in Chaucer's translation, 29S. 


Length ftfdhaucer's poem, II. 299. — His object in undertaking 
it, ibid. See also I. 112, 340, III. 32, 23s, 236, 248, 376, 
IV. 191. 
Extract from, see also in I. 63. 

Romfo and Juliet \ passages in, borrowed fronn Chaucer, I. 467, 
II. 174. Its character, as a love-tale, I. 473. 

Roncei'valks, valley of, II. 316. 

Rondeau, (or Roundell ;) origin and definition of this species of po- 
etry, III. 264, 267 to 270. 

Rofisard, a French poet of the sixteenth century, II. 235, 291, 
IV. 192. 

Roscoe ; his assertion respecting the date of the Chester Mysteries, 
I. 135. His opinion respecting the origin of dramatic composi- 
tions in England, 148. — Controverted, 149. 

Rosebecq, battle of, III. 390. 

Round Table; an order of knighthood projected by Edward III.,; 
I. 212. — Superseded by that of the Garter, 213. See also 

Roundell. See Rondeau. 

Rutland, earl of, eldest son of Edmund of Langley, IV. lSo» 

SACKHLLE, earl of Dorset, I. 329, 498. 
St. Amour. See William de Si. Amour. 
St. More. See Benoit de St. More. 

St, Real, abbe j his narrative of the Conspiracy of Venice, IV. 51. 
St. Stephen's Abbey at Caen, I. 266. 

St. Stephen's Chapel; founded by king Stephen, I. 278. Rebuilt and 
rendered collegiate by Edward III., ibid.. III. 123. Given a» 
a place of assembly to the lower house of parliament, I. 279. 
Paintings and ornaments discovered there in the late repairs, 
.Saliares, Salii, Latin names of the minstrels^ I. 113. 
Salisbury, earls of : See Montacnte. 

Countess of j her heroism, II. 113. 
Sallust, II. 42. 
Salvator Rosa, IV. 190. 
Sandwich; expedition of Edward III. sails from, for the invasion of 

France, II. 207. 
Saracens, a principal source of the literature of modern Europe, I. 

23, 322. 
Savoy, the palace of, in London, (a possession of John of Gaunt ;) 
by whom built, II. 224. John, king of France, resides and dies 
here, 229. Ravages committed upon, by the citizens of London 
in 1377, III. no. Burnt by the insurgents under Wat Tyler, 
221, 156. 
Saxons ; their character, I. 54. State of architecture m England un- 
der, 221. — Of sculpture and pamting, 2^9. — Of music, 285,287. 
Scalds ; the parents of the romance of the middle ages, I. 5a. Dis- 



tinction ©f, from the bards, I. 89. Gradual degeneracy of their 

character, 90. See also I. 285, 287. 
Scmdalum Magnatum; statute of, passed, III. 155. 
Scb'ism of the church in 1382, III. 380. Grand Schism, 301. 
Schoolmen, the, I, 24,11. 108. The disceverers of the art of logic, 

I. 320. 
Schools in London, in the twelfth century, I. 32. St. Paul's school, 

33. *39. 158- 

Scot, Michael, I. 418. 

Scotland; expedition of Edward iii. into, II. 148. Hospitality of 
the Scottish nobles to John of Gaunt in his distress. III. 222, 
223. Truce with England renewed, 394. — Broken; and renew- 
ed, 417. ... 

Scrope, sir Richard le : appointed chancellor ; and dismissed by Ri- 
chard II., III. 279. 

Scrope, archbishop of York, IV. 153. 

Sculpture and Painting ; state of, under the Saxons, I. 259. — In the 
tenth century, 261. Epoch of Cimabue and Giotto, 275* See also 

Sea-Jighi oj the Spaniards in xx'li, II. 446. 

SenigagUa, bishop of. III. 37. 

Sermoneta, Alexander, II. 8. 

Seth, Simeon, a Turkish writer in the eleventh century, I. 25, 26, 
IV. 76. 

Shakel, John, his dispute with John of Gaunt, III. 150. 

Sbakespear ; familiarly conversant with the works of Chaucer, I, 499. 
— Chaucer and Shakespear compared, 501, His peculiar cha- 
racters, 505, 509, IV. 194. — Instances of, from his Troilus and 
Cressida, I. 505, 507. Homer and Shakespear compared, 509. 
Causes of the excellence of Shakespear's characters, 511. His 
sonnets, IV. 41. Anecdote of him, 84. Tragedies of King John ; 
Lear; Othello; Pericles; Romeo and Juliet; Troilus and 
Cressida: See those articles. See also I. 138, 346, 35S, 377, 
392,421, II. 77, 234> 426, 498.111- 33» IV. II, 156, 175, 199. 

Skene; palace at, demolished by Richard 11., through grief for his 
queen, who died there, III. 234, 2S0. 

Shepherd's Calendar, (Spenser's,) III. 346, 376. _ 

Sbozvs ; prevalence of these diversions in England in the fourteenth 
century, I, 167. Diiference of, from theatrical exhibitions, il>id. 
The most remarkable : Lord-mayor'-s show, 16S — Ceremonial of 
May-day, 169. — Setting the Midsummer watch, 171. v 

Sicilian Vespers, II. 238. 

Sidnev, sir Philip ; his character of the Troilus and Creseide, I. 479, 
IV. 184. 

Simon, abbot of St. Albans, I. 270. 

5/»<rm/v', unreserved ; its favourable effects upon the character, I. 78. 
Limitations of. III. 330. 

Sirwntes, satirical poems of the troubadours, 1.346,351, III. 265^ 

Smithfield; conference in, between Richard n. and Wat Tyler, 


III. ao2 to 205. Grand shooting-match here in the reign of Eliza- 
beth, I. 186. 

Smolkl, IV. 195. 

Social institutiovs ; their value to be estimated with reference to the 
period in which they prevail, I. 257. 

Somme, John, I. 415. ^ 

Somnium Scipionis, II. 172. 

SoMPNouRES Tale, III. 359, TV. 18S. 

Song; the only species of European music previously to the ele- 
venth century, I. 291. Origin of the shorter pieces of poetry so 
called, III. 265. 

Sonnet; rise of this species of poetry, I. 356 III. 266. . Shake- 
spear's sonnets, IV. 41. 

jSot,;;;^^; Chaucer's philosophy of, III. 9. 

Spain ; modern history of, II. 306. — Irruption and ascendancy of 
rhe Saracens, ibid. — Victories of the Christians, 307. — Reign of 
Peter the Cruel, (See further his article,) 308. Expedition 
against, proposed by John of Gaunt in 1381 ; state of Spain at 
that time, 111.382,383. Spanish expedition of John of Gaunt in 
1386 ; and its results, IV. 58 to 61. See also Castille, 

spectator ; Extract from, on the subject of prize-fighting, I. 189. 

Speght, Mr ; his testimony respecting the period of Chaucer, I. 5. — 
respecting his studies in tlie Inner Temple, II. 51. — respecting 
his residence at Donnington, IV. 95. His mistake relative to the 
poem of Cliaucer's Dream, corrected, II. 199. His statements 
erroneous, relative to the supposed grant to Chaucer in the year 
137 1, 515, 516. — and relative to a supposed grant of protection 
to Chaucer in the year 1378, III. 145, 147. See also II. 22. 

Spencer, Henry, bishop of Norwich, proposes a crusade against the 
anti-pope Clement vii., III. 382. — Its progress and result, 391, 
392 to 396. 

Spfnser, I. 356, 375, 392, 498, II. 172, III. 180, IV. 11,192. 
Compared with Chaucer, I. 377, 378, II. 377, III. 34. His Shep- 
herd's Calendar, HI. 346, 376. 

Spring, description of, from the Romance of the Rose, II. 244. 

SquiersTale, IV. 185. 

Slage, See Theatre- 
Stan, sir Richard, III. 116, 119. 

Stanza of seven lines, first introduced into the English language by 
Chaucer, I. 374. 

Stapelgate, Edmund, a minor, placed under the guardianship of 
Chaucer, III. 58. 

Statins, I. 37, II- 165, III. 17. 

Statute : Relating to hawks, I. 183. Of treasons, (25 Edvv. iii.,) II. 

68. Of mortmain, 413. Of provisnrs, 416. — -Revived, 418. 

Of Premunire, 419. — These two statutes re-enacted, 420. Of 
Scandalum Magnatum, HI. 155. 

Statutes of Love, (from the Court of Love,) I. 380, 381, 386. 


S/(f^/i», sir Richard, I. 189, 190. 

Sieevens, Mr., I. 497. 

Stephen, king, I. 203, 240, 278, III. 64, Population of London 
during his reign, I. i4.'r-Multitude of castles erected, 218. 

Sterne, IV- 195. 

Stow, the historian ; his account of the ancient celebration of May- 
day in London, I. 169. — Of the festival of setting the Midsummer 
vatch, 171, 172. — Of the foraiation of the New Forest by William 
the Conqueror, 178, 179. — Of Robin Hood and his companions, 
19S. — Of the seizure of Roger Mortimer, 248, 249. — Of the price 
of wine in 1199, II. 487, 488. — Of the accusations ay.ainst Alice 
Perrers, III,. 80. An editor of Chaucer's works, I. 328. See 
also I. 17, 141, 142, 145- 

Stratford, archbishop of Canterbury, II. 418. 

Strode, a confidential friend of Chaucer, I, 36, 341. Memoirs of 
him, II. I. ^ Notices of him by different historians, 2 to 7. Era 
in which he flourished, 7. Conjecture respecting him in Urry's 
Chaucer ; supposed to have been tutor to Chaucer's younger son, 
8. — Objections to this hypothesis, 9, 10. Comparison of Gower 
and Strode, 38. 

Studies ; a variety of, not prejudicial to each other, nor to active 
life, I. 318- 319- 

Stvrry, sir Richard. %tt Stan, 

Sumptuous Entertainments of the ancient English, I. 164. Grew out 
of the feudal system, /i^ZiS'. Their hospitality, 165. — Larder of a 
nobleman in the fourteenth century, 166. — Expence of the 
houshold establishment of another nobleman, ibid — Houshold of 
■Richard II., /i-/^., III. 292, 293.— Retinue of the earl of Warwick, 
I. 167. 

Sudbury, Simon : bishop of London ; and archbishop of Canterbury, 
III. 37. Presides at the citation of WiclifFe, 106. Murdered by 
the insurgents in 1381, 200. His character, 320. 

Surry, earl of, IV. 192. 

Swinderby, William de ; a condemned heretic, saved from the flames 
bv John of Gaunt, III. 318. 

Swinford, Catherine, sister to Chaucer's wife ; her station and 
quality, II. 198, 199, 379, 380. Mistress to John of Gauntj 
her history, III, 72. — Married to that prince, IV. 103, 104. 

TAILLEFER sings the Song of Roland on a memorable occasion, 
I. 58. His feats of dexterity at that time, and heroic death, loi, 

Tale of the Maechant, IV. 187. 

Tapestry of Bayeux, I. 182, 263. 

Tasso, I. 62, IV. 192, 193. 

Taxation rendered unnecessary under the feudal system, I. 41, 11. 344. 
Hearth-money, IT. 343. First-fruits, 409. King John's tribute, 
421. Peter's Pence, 424. Poll-tax of the year 1380, III. 190. 


Tell, William ; the famous incident in his history to be found in an 

old English ballad, I. 187. 

Temple vx London, formerly a monastery, I. 13. Question of Chau- 
cer's studies in the Inner Temple discussed, 11. 50. Burned 
down by the insurgents under Wat Tyler, III. 198. 

Temple of Fame, Pope's poem of, III. 35. 

Tenters, IV. 190. 

Tensons, or pieas in verse j productions of the early French poeta, 

I. 351, III. 265. 
Terence, I. 120. 

Teseide, La; a poem of Boccaccio, I. 422, Its date, 42^, 432* 
Translated from a Latin original, 435. Question whether the 
original of Chaucer's Knightes Tale, 436, IL 73, 177, 473, 
IIL 17 note. — Compared with that poem, II. 77. See also I. 429, 

II. 73, 176, 

Testament of Creseide, a sequel to the Troilus and Creseide, I. 486. 
Its author, Henryson, ibid. Its plan, 487. Law of poetical 
justice examined, 488. Story of the poem ; its opening, 489, 490. 
— Creseide deserted by Diomed, 490. — Council of the seven 
planets held, ibid. — description of Saturn, 491. — their determina- 
tion respecting Creseide, ibid. — Her humiliation and misery, 492. 
—Her last meeting with Troilus, ibid. — Her death, 493. Com- 
parison of Henryson and Chaucer, ibid. — Advantages possessed 
by the latter, ibid. — Excellences of each, ibid. — Great superiority 
of Chaucer's poem, 494. 

Testament of Love ; written by Chaucer in prison, IV. 32. 
Compared with Boethius's Consolation of Philosophy, 33. Its 
allegorical style, 37. — Marguerite, ibid. Compared with the 
Complaint of the Black Knight, 40. Chaucer's character of 
himself, 41. This work written previously to the Legende of 
Gode Women, 43. Chaucer now firsi adopts the mystical worship 
of the Marguerite or daisy, 44. Date of tiiiswork, 48. Chaucer 
set at liberty : impeaches his former associates; nature of his 
information, &c. 47, 48, 55, 56. See also I. 65, III. 316, 34^, 
IV. 56. 
Extracts from, see also in I. 6, IIL 410, IV. 20, 21, 24, 29. 

Theatre: origin of the English stage, I. 115. The minstrels our 
first dramatists, ibid. — Inferred from some of their appellations, 
116. — Proved from John of Salisbury, ibid. — ins character of 
their performances, 120. Profane plays in the twelfth century, 
121. — None of these now extant, ibid. — Conjectures respecting 
their nature and character, ibid., 122. Sacred plays, (See Miracle 
Plays; and Mysteries ) 122. Origin of the antipathy of the clergy 
to theatrical performers, 125. Profane plays in the thirteenth 
century, 128. — Forbidden to be attended by the clergy, 129. 
Theatrical representations by boys : profane plays in the fourteenth 
century, 138, 142. Act of parliament against a company of 
vagrants, 143, Plays before Edward iir. at Guildford castle. 


I. 144. — Entertainment made by the citizens of London for the 
prince of Wales, ibid. Masquerades, 145. Theatrical repre- 
sentations toward the close of the fourteenth century, 147. 
Enquiry whether these earJy performances included dialogue : 
Roscoe's assertion on this subject, 148. — This opinion contro- 
verted ; from the natural progress of the drama, 149. — from the 
history of the minstrels, 150. 

Tbeseits, was a knight-errant of antiquity, I. 48. 

Thomas, td.x\ of Lancaster; his houshold expences, I. i66, II. 337, 
4S7. His immense wealth, 11. 33S. His death, ibid.y IV. 120. 

Thomas Aquinas, St* See Aquinas. 

Thomas of Beck et, a patron of literature, I. 23. 

Thomas of Woodstock, (earl of Buckingham, and duke of Gloucester,) 
youngest son of Edward iii., IL 127. Retires from the admini- 
stration on the accession of Richard 11., III. 135. Campaign of 
1.380 in Britanny, 186, Conspiracy of the courtiers against John 
of Gaunt ; information of Friar Latimer j resentment of Thomas 
of Woodstock, 401, 418, 421, 431. He supersedes the royal 
authority, by means of the parliament, IV. 17. — His sanguinary 
proceedings, 26^ Restoration of Richard 11., 44, 46. Con- 
spiracy of Thomas of Woodstock ; punishment of conspirators, 
118, Assassination of Woodstock, 1 19. His patronage of Gower^ 

II. 15 to 28j 96, IV. 80. See also 111. 400, 424, IV. 123 note, 
Tbouars ; siege of, by the French in 1372, II. 449. 

Tbucydides, I. 36. His account of the moral effects of the plague of 
Athens, 407. 

Thurcill, a villager of Essex ; his curious vision, I. 132. 

Tournamf:nts; origin of these exercises and the Justs, I. 199. Dis- 
tinction between them, 201. Dangerous nature of the former, 

202. Their introduction into England, ibid. Their frequency, 

203. Description and ceremonies of, ibid. Celebration of, 204, 
20k. — Examples; tournament of Beaucaire, 207. — ci Chalons in 
Burgundy, 2c8. Grand epoch uf tournaments in England, the 
period of Chaucer, 209, 210. — Enumeration of some which oc- 
curred in a single year, 212. Orders of the Round Table and of 
the Garter, ibid. Tournament on occasion of the marriage of 
John of Gaunt with the princess Blanche, IL 202. — In Cheapside 
in 1374, III. 77. 

Toiver of London ; built by William the Conqueror, I. 12. Was 
Jong a principal residence of our kings, 13. Chaucer imprisoned 
here, IV. 15. 

Translation; a principal eraployiT.Gnt of the revivers of literature, 
L 435. Not a subordinate occupation in the first refinement of a 
language, IL 85, 86. Wicliffe's translation of the Bible, III. 303. 

Transiibslar.tintion ; the corner-stone of the Reman Catholic Religion, 

III. 308. Chaucer a believer in this doctrine, 316, 345. 
Treasons, stature of, (25 Edw. iii.,) \\. 68. 

Tresilian, sir Robert, chief justice of the King's Bench, 11. 67, 70, 
III. 4033 428, IV. 25, 26. 


Troilus and Creseide, Chaucer's poem of; its dedication, 
1.36. Examination of, 4)8. Written at Oxford, z'w(/. Question, 
whether translated from a Latin or Italian original, discussed, 419, 
—The latter affirmed by Mr. Tyrwhit, ibid., 429. — This sup- 
position controverted ; i. from the statement of Chaucer and 
Lydgate, 431, III. 17 note. — if, from chronoiogy, I. 432, II. 473, 
— Its date, I. 432. — III, from probability, 433 — -and iv, from 
other considerations, 434, — Conclusion, 437. Plan of Chaucer'^ 

translation, 440. Story of the poem, 441. Bonk i. ; Cre'=eide 

abandoned by her father Calchas, who goes over to the Greeks, 
ibid. — Personal appearance of Creseide described, 442. — Character 
of Troilus, 443. — Further description of Creseide, 444. — Troiius 
first becomes enamoured of her, 445. — He gains the assistance of 
.Pandarns, her uncle, in the prosecution of his passion, 446. — his 

behavionr after this event, ibid. Book it. ; Troilus returns 

from a successful sally against the besiegers, 447. — Good offices of 

Pandarus in his favour, 448. Book iii. ; first interview of the 

lovers, ibid., 449. — Subsequent meetings, and their effect, 449. — . 
Further efforts of Pandarus; he invites Creseide to sapper, 450. — 
She is detained at his house all night by accident, 451. — Stratagem 
by which he introduces Troilus to her bedchamber, 452. — Resulc 
of this meeting, 453. — Simile on this occasion, from the poem, 

454. Book IV. ; separation of the lovers, 455. — Farewel visit 

of the Trojan ladies to Creseide, ibid. — Parting interview of 
Troiliis and Creseide, 456. — behaviour of Troilus, 457. — farewel 
speech of Creseide, 458. — she promises to return at the end of 

ten days, 459. Book v.; inconstancy of Creseide, ibid. — 

Condition of Troilus after her departure, ibid. — Pandarus endea- 
vours to console him, 461. — Sensations of Troilus in visiting the 
different parts of the city, ibid. — Conduct of Troilus on the 
arrival of the tenth day, 465. — hint borrowed by Shakespear from 
a part of this passage, 467. — Disappointment of Troilus, 468. — 
its effect upon his health, 469. — He becomes acquainted with the 
inconstancy of Creseide ; his despair, and death, ibid. The 
Troilus not an epic poem, 470. Compared with the JEneid, 471. 
Its character, ibid. — Its faults ; barren of incident, 472. — defective 
in catastrophe, ibid. — Its general merits, 473, — Its merits in a 
comparative view, 476. — as an early English composition, ibid. — 
in point of execution, 477. Its repptation, 478. Trivial and 
vulgar lines, 479. — Examples of, 480. Indecorums and vicious 
sentiments, 481. — Examples of, 482. Prolixity, 483. Com- 
pared with the Filostrato, 484. Sequel to the Troilus and 
Creseide, (See Testament of Creseide,') 486. The Troilus and 
Creseide translated into Latin by sir Francis Kinaston, 495. The 
foundation of one of the plays of Shakespear, 496. Ancient 
celebrity of this poem in England, 500, II. 93. Chaucer and 
Shakespear compared, I. 501. — Imperfection of Chaucer's poem, 
502. — Particulars in which he has the advantage oyer Shakespear, 
512, — superiordelicacy of Chaucer, 513, 514. Compared with the 


Knightes Tale, II, 75, 76. See also I. §40, 374, 416, II. 163, 
III. 232, 236, 370, TV. 43, 184, 190. 
Extracts from, see also in I. 95, II. 192, 193. 

'^TtoHus and Cressiduy Shakespear's tragedy of, I. 496. Question of 
its original, 497. — Principally founded upon Chaucer, 499. 
Motives of Shakespear in adopting this story, 500. Other sources 
of this play, 501. Closeness of its imitation from Chaucer, ibid. 
Chaucer and Shakespear compared, ibid. Different styles of the 
Troilus and Cressida, 503 to 505. — Character of Ulysses, 506. — 
Cressida's confession of love, 507. — beauties of this passage, 509. 
Homer and Shakespear compared, ibid. Causes of the excellence 
of Shakespear's characters, 511. Particulars in which Chaucer 
has the superiority over Shakespear, 512. — Indelicacy of the 
principal characters of Shakespear, 514. 
Dryden's play of, I. 473. 

Trophe, the original of the Troilus and Creseide, I. 430. Period of 
its composition, 439. 

Troubadours, I. 344, 346, II. 221. 

TrowveurSf II. 221. 

Troy ; writers upon the story of, I. 434. Pretensions of the 
European nations in the middle ages to a Trojan original, 438. 

Troy Book; of Lydgate, I. 497, 501. Of Guido dalla Colonna, 
II. 89. 

Truce of God; what, I. 46. 

Trumpets of Molus, described in the House of Fame, III. 20. 

Turpin, I. 26, 58, II. 261. 

Two Noble Kinsmen ; play of, II. 77. 

Tyrwbit, Mr. ; his testimony respecting the period of Chaucer, I. 5, 
His edition of the Canterbury Tales, 390, IV. 76. Various mis- 
takes of this writer corrected and refuted : Respecting Chau- 
cer's studies at Oxford, I. 414, 416. — Respecting the original of 
the Troilus and Creseide, 419, 429 to 437. — ^Respecting Chau- 
cer's residence in France, II. 41, 42. — Respecting the patent of 
137410 Chaucer, 97, 98, 505 to 507. — Respecting the date of' 
the Palamon and Arcite, 177. — Respecting the occasion and ap- 
plication of Chaucer's " Dream," 190, igi. — Respecting the sup- 
posed grant of tlie year 137 1 to Chaucer, 513, 515. — Respecting the 
applause given by Spenser to the Visions of Pierce Plowman, III. 
347. His objection to the credibility of Chaucer's interview with 
Petrarca, refuted, II. 474 to 479. His remark upon the inter- 
ference of Chaucer in the contention respecting the mayoralty of 
London, censured, III. 413. See also II. 23. 

FALENflNIAN, Beaumont and Fletcher's tragedy of, III. 166 

Ven-us ; worship of, superseded among the poets of chivalry by thai 

of 4icestis, III. 255, 256. 


f^ffius arid Adonis, Shakespear's poem of, I. 499. 

Fere, earl of Oxford, favourite of Richard 11., III. 286, 289, 402, 
IV. 25. Grief of Richard for his death, III. 280. 

Villainage \ condition of, under the feudal system, III. 193. 

Fillani, Giovanni, I. 409 note. 

Virelav; origin of this species of poetry, III. 267, 270, 271. Ex- 
ample of, from the works of Chaucer, 272. 

^''^'A !• 37> 473- III- 4> i4> 17) 346- A principal character in the 
processionof the Feast of the Ass, I. 155. See z.ho JEneid. 

Vision 5 a curious one, of a villager of Essex, I. 132. 

Visions of Pierce Plozvman, HI. 345. Became the origin of other 
poems against the established church, under the name of the Plow-, 
man, ibid. Applauded by Spenser, 346. Period at which they 
were written, 348. Name and profession of their author, 350. 
Plan of the work, 352. Specimens; Covetousness described, 
355. — Speech of Envy, 356. This author imitated by Chaucer, 
359. — By Milton, 361. Versification of the poem, 364. — Its 
alliteration, 365; — Its anapestic measure, 366. Its popularity 
with the Lollards and the Protestants, 368. See also Lang- 

Voltaire, 11. 37, 234, 285, IV. 167. 

ULSTER, Earl of. See Li07iel of Antwerp. 

fjniversities. Method of education previously to the establishment 
cf the universities, I. 299. Prosperous condition of the universi- 
ties in the twelfth century, 302.-^Their decline, 303, 309. 
Causes which bad contributed to their former flourishing condi- 
tion J discredit of the monastic orders, 305. Their successive 
periods, 313. University education of the fourteenth century ap- 
preciated, 3T5. — Logic studied vvith peculiar success, 320. — ■ 
Other sciences imported from the Moors, 322. — Circumstances 
favourable to the cultivation of the fancy, 324. Opposition of the 
Western universities to the establishment of the mendicant orders, 
(See Friars,') II. 267. 

Vni'uer shies of England ; state of, previously to and in the time of 
Chaucer, I. 32. Rise of Cambridge and Oxford, 300, 301. — 
Their decline, 303. Colleges, ^when first founded, 313. — State 
of the universities before that time, 314. The office of chan. 
celli;r, when first made honorary as at present. III. 310 note. See 
also Cambridge ; Oxford; and the preceding article. 

Uni'versity of Paris. See Paris. 

Urfan 11., pope, I. 266. 

Urban v., pope, demands the payment of King John's tribute, IJ* 
422. — Unseasonableness of the demand, 423. — it is refused, ibid. 
—Peter's Pence abolished, 424. See also II. 485. 

Urban vi., pope, issues letters of crusade againvt his rival Cle- 
ment VII., III. 381. 

vot. IV. ? F 


WACE, Robert ; the father of regular romance, I. 60. His prin- 
cipal productions, ibid. See also I. 299, 332, 343, II. 89, 261. 

Wakt-ficld^ Henry, bishop of Worcester, HI- 115 note. 

Waldemar, king of Denmark, visits the court of Edward in., II. 

Waldenses ; heretics of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, III. 44* 
Sanguinary persecutions against them, 46, 47. 

Walter of Colchester, I. 275. 

IVal-'jjorth, sir William, mayor of London ; his behaviour at the con- 
ference between Richard 11. and Wat Tyler, III. 204. Knighted, 
206. See also I. 19, III. 139, 416. 

/^'^i^r; sentiments respecting, I. 399,400, III. 3S3. The favourite 
employment of the knights of chivalry, III. 86, 87. 

tVarbuiton : Extract from, on the spirit of the Modern Gothic style 
of architecture, I. 234. 

IVarlon ; his mistake respecting Strode, II. 10. His supposition re- 
lative to the original of the House of Fame, refuted, III 32.. Cha- 
racter oF his Hiitory of English Poetry, I. izZ note. 

Warwick, Thomas Beauchamp earl of i fable related of him, II. 353. 
Richard earl of, the king-maker, I. 167. 

Wat Tj'ler -^ his insurrection in 1381, (See Richard 11.,) III. 197 to 

tVeitminster Abbey \ built by Edward the Confessor, I. 13. The bu- 
rial place of Chaucer, 2, IV. 163. — Has been since, from that cir- 
cumstance, appropriated to deceased genius and literary eminence, 
I. 2, II. 494. See also I. zi^note. 

Westminster Hal!, built by William Rufus for his dining-room, I. 
12, 165, 253. 

Whittingtori, sir Richard, mayor of London, III. 416. Public build- 
ings erected by him, I. iS. 

Wichffe : first notice of him in hi'-tory, II. 425. His doctrines fa- 
voured by the court of Edward hi., I. 29, II. 426. Genius of 
this reformer, II. 426. His early history, 427. His connection 
v,;ich John of Gaunt, 428, 509. Parliamentary remonstrance 
against the appointment of chuichmen to th-.; gieit offices of state; 
sentiments at this time prevalent rtspeciing the ecclesiastical or- 
der, 429, 441. — Oiigin of these stntimencs; rapid progress of 
the doctrines of Wicliffe, 443. Ecclesiastical congress atBruges; 
WiclitFe one of the commissioners, 4S3. — Harsn treatment he had 
experienced from the former pope, 485. — Is. made divinity -pro- 
fcbsor to che university of Oxford, ibid. — Resort I'f eminent cha- 
racters to thf: city of Bruges, III. 37. — advantages derived by 
WiciifFj from, this circumstance, 38. — Progress of the negotia- 
tion; papal bulls in b--half of the church and clergy of England, 
ibid. — Close of the negotiation, 40. — Wicliffc's conduct in this 
business : he receives from John of Gaunt the living of Lutttr- 
worth, 41. Progress of the opinions of Wicliffe, ibid.. Cham- 
pions of the reform of the church previuu^ly to this period, 42 to 
46. System of WiciilFe, 47. — He oppcses the supremacy of 
the pope, 48. — penances, pardons, indulgences, and prayers for 


the dead, III. 48. — the pride and luxury of the hierarchy, 49. — 
and the celibacy of the clergy, 51. Wicliffe a predestinarian* ibid. — 
Grandeur of his views, 52. — for the improvement of morality, 
and the emancipation of the human undersfandirg, ibid. — Puri- 
tanical complexion of his tenets, 53, 309. Intimacy of Wicliffe 
with Chaucer, 55. — With John of Gaunt ; religious purposes of 
each, 56. Reformation principles affected by the Good Parlia- 
ment, 68. Citation of Wicliffe; and its result, 104, 106. — - 
Qu^estion respecting the date of this proceeding, 107. Progress 
of the doctrines of Wicliffe, 297. Bulls of pope Gregory xi., 
298. Wicliffe favoured by the university of Oxford, 299- — 
Cited before the bishops at Lambetli, ibid. — His popularity, 
300. — Protected by the princess of W^aies, ibid. Death of the 
pope ; Grand Schism, 301. Favourable situation of Wicliffe, 
ibid. — He resolves to improve it, 302. — his measures for that 
purpose; translation of the Bible, 303. Exertions of Wicliffe 
and his associates, 305. Controversy of the real presence, 307. 
Wicliffe opposed by some of the heads of the university, 310. — 
Appeals to the king, 311. — Solicits the support of John of 
Gaunt; and is refused, 312, 313. — probable motives of this re- 
fusal: I, the unprosperous situation of John of Gaunt, 313. — 
2, the unhappy dispositions of Richard II., 314. — 3, the extreme 
to which Wicliffe proceeded; which John of Gaunt might disap- 
prove from views of piety, or of policy, 316, 317. — Humane and 
benevolent conduct of John of Gaunt, 318. Further proceed- 
ings of Wicliffe, 319. Bishop Courteney succeeds to the primacy; 
council held at the Preaching Friars, /(^Z^., 320. — Earthquake, 
311. Parliamentary bill against heresy; rejected by the com- 
mons, 322, 323. The primate undertakes to purge the uni- 
versity, 323. — demands a recantation from the heretical professors, 
324. Letters patent against heresy, 325. — Wicliffe is expelled 
the universitv, ibid. Convocation of St. Frideswide, 326. Ob- 
scurity respecting the recantations, ibid. Wicliffe dies, 327. Im- 
puted pusillanimity of the Lollards, 328. — Commendation of 
Wicliffe, 330. — right and wrong of his general system, 331. See 
also I. 476, II. 6, 7. 

WiF OF Bathes Prologue, II. 500, IV. 187. 

Wilfred, bishop of York, and of Hexham, I. 221. 

IVilliam the Conqueror ., builds the Tower of London, I. 12. For- 
mation of the New Forest by him, 178, 179. — Severity of his 
forest laws, 180. Compared with Edward 11 1., II. 116. See also 
I. 22, 30, 239, 346. 

William Rufiis, I. 12, 166, 179. 

William, earl of Holland and duke of Bavaria, II. 136 note, 222 
note. ' 

William ix., count of Poitou ; the first troubadour on record, I. 344. 

William de Berton, chancellor of the university of Oxford, III. 31 -j 

William of Cloiidesl}', 1. i^e,. Ballad of, 187. 


William de Lorris, suthcr of the Roman de la Rose, (See that article,) 
I. 351. Imptrfect state in which he left that poem, 35;, II. 236, 
237. Character of his poetry, I. 354, 355, II. 253 to 256. See 
also I. 26, III. 2, 372. 

William de MacbauL, a French versifier of the fourteenth century, 
perhaps the inventor of the mythology of the daisy. III. 254, 

IViUiajnof Malmesb'.iry,\. \\z, 266, II. 260. 

William of Nassjngton ; Extract from a poem by him, I. lOp. 

IVdUam de ^t. Amour, the champion of the university of Paris against 
the mendicant orders, 11.259, 268. Evangelium JEternum , 2fr8. 
— Introduction to that vvoik, by John of Parma, ibid., 272. 
Claim of the Dominicans to certain professorships in the univer- 
sity of Paris, 272. St. Amour De Periculis Novissimorum Tem- 
poThm; accusations against the mendicants, 274,275. The Ever- 
Jasring Gospel condemned, 278. St. Atpour condemned, 279.— 
victory of the mendicants, 280. — Reinstated, 281. See also III. 

William, of Wjkebam; his history, II. 432. His character, 434, 
His numerous preferments, 436. His political revenues, ibid. 
Is made bishop of Winchester, 437. — Difficulty in procuring the 
pope's confirmation of his appointment, ibid. Extract from 
Froissart respecting him, 438. His offices of state, 439. Con- 
trast between John of Gaunt and Wykeharn, ibid. Contrivance 
for the dismission of Wykcham, 440, Conspiracy against John 
of Gaunt, III. 67. Convocation of the Good Parliament, ibid. — 
Coalition of parties, ibid — Their proceedings; remonstrance 
against the usurpations of Rome, 68. — fate of this remonstrance, 
70 — Parliamentary prosecutions, ibid. — Parliamentary proceedings 
against Alice Peners, 72, 77. — ingratitude of Wykeham in this 
matter, 78. — Executive government put into commission, 82. 
John of Gaunt returns to England, and overturns the usurpations 
of Wykeham, 92. — Punishment of the usurpers, 93. — Accusation 
of Wykeham, 95. — charges exhibited against him, 96. — remarks 
upon these, 97, 98. — Temporalities of his bishopric sequestered, 
98. — observations, 100. — granted to the young prince of Wales, 
10 1. A parliament called : act of general pardon ; Wykeham 
excepted, 103, 104. Wykeham reinstated, 120. — and his tem- 
poralities restored, 121. Pardon extended to Wykeham on the 
accession of Richard il., 126. Not included in the council of 
regency, 136. See also I. 315,11. 430, III. 290. 

Windsor Castle t:th\x\\t by William of Wykeham, II. 433, III. 123. 
Chaucer empUyed in repairing St. George's Chapel here, IV. 66. 

Windsor, lord, III. 81. 

Wi'it:; Chaucer receives a grant of a pitcher of, per diem, II. 485. 
Use of wine in the fourteenth century, 486, I. 166. Its price in 
J199 11.487. — In the fouiteenth cen'ury, 489, I. 166. Mea- 
suris of wine at this time in use. II. 490. — Dimensions of the 
pitcher, 491, Value of Chaucer's grant, ibni. Imputed con- 


nection between wine and poetry, II. 493. Ghaucer again ob- 

tains a grant of wine, IV, xi3. 
Woden ; worship of, established in England by the Saxons, I. 10, 

Wolsey, cardinal, IV. 131. Compared with John of Gaunt, 

III. 57. . 
Women; satirrupon, in the iJowiJw cle la Rose, II. 284. See F«/> 

Wonder-iuorking Parliament ; their proceedings, IV. 26, 27,44." 
Wood, Antony ; Story extracted from, 1. 130. 
Woodsto:k; park at, laid out by Henry i., I. 180. Chaucer resides 

at this town, J I, 99, 495, IV. 169. — Early da*€ of his residence 

here, 100. — Situation of his house, loi. — description of it; from 

his poem of his Dream, 102. — from the Book of the Duchess, 103- 

— He retires to this place in the latter part of his life, IV. 68, 172, 

— his sentiments at this period, 71, 
Woodstock, Thomas of. Ste Thomas of Woodstock. 
Wrestling ; a diversion of the ancient hnglish, I. 187. 
Wykeham, See William of Wykebam. 

YORK AtiD Lancaster, wars of, I. 479, 11* 58, loj. 

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